MERCER COUNTY (KDKA) — The coronavirus stay-at-home order is lifted and stores are reopening in Mercer County.
On Friday, the county transitioned from the “red” phase to the “yellow” phase, which does not change the precautions about wearing a mask and practicing social distancing but does end the stay-at-home order.
That brought people from all over to the Grove City Premium Outlets.
Maria Buzzard, of Butler, brought her girls for a day out of the house.
“We’ve been suffering from cabin fever pretty bad so we were excited,” Buzzard said.
But shoppers who donned masks to get some shopping done found a surprise, and not a good one.
Paula Dietz, who drove up from Springdale with her husband Jim, left unhappy.
“Nothing’s open, there’s one store we saw open,” Paula said.
Melanie Cantas, of Canton, retreated to her car after finding “A bunch of empty stores with closed signs on them still.”
The outlet boasts 130 stores but according to Simon Properties’ website, only 26 were open on Friday. A handful of those stores were in the take-out only food court.
One of the unknowns in reopening the economy is how comfortable shoppers will feel going back into stores.
Cantas says that’s why she came all the way from Canton.
“I would much rather shop at an outlet like this because there’s more distancing,” Cantas said.
In Oldtown Grove City, Cathryn and Logan Uber were happy to open and offer a 50 percent off sale at Uber Bros. Gaming Shop.
Logan says being able to open the door is critical in trying to compete with online shopping.
“We get to interact with members of the community again. We get to stick ourselves out there and be excited about things that make us happy,” Cathryn said.
Across the aisle, Jeff Laurence is happy to welcome customers back to Creative Framing.
“There was nothing coming in during April so we’re kind of a month behind now,” Laurence said.
More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- CDC Global Map of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
- Pennsylvania Department of Health Information
- Pennsylvania County-By-County Map
- Allegheny County Health Department Information
But whether you’re a shopper or a store owner, everyone is happy to be out from under the stay-at-home order.
Not all stores were ready to go on Friday. Quite a few have signs in their windows, saying they will return Monday or later next week.
And while this is the first step to getting things going again, it is with significant safety precautions.
Masks are a must and in some stores, they are limiting the number of customers allowed in at one time.