Local businesses making changes to protect customers and staff from coronavirus spread

Beginning Wed. March 18, A Bowl of Good is shutting down in-house service and instead offering...
Beginning Wed. March 18, A Bowl of Good is shutting down in-house service and instead offering take-out and delivery.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 5:49 PM EDT
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Many local businesses are taking a hit as people are social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Restaurants like A Bowl of Good in Harrisonburg are making changes to keep customers safe and healthy.

"We are really grateful that our customers are being sensitive to the community in that way, but it will affect our sales for sure," Catrina Didot, A Bowl of Good owner, said.

She said management came to a hard decision on Monday regarding the restaurant's operations during this time.

"As of Wednesday, we're going to shut down for in-house eating and we're going to do take-out and delivery," Didot said.

A Bowl is Good, like many other restaurants, both local and national, will be encouraging take-out and a new doorstep delivery option.

"We'll have GoPay available so people can pay outside and everything," Didot said. "We're also going to be delivering to people's front porches, so we'll be able to help people out in that way."

She adds the restaurant not being a social spot, for the time being, is disappointing, but she hopes customers will understand the decision.

"I know they will be supportive of us because they know we have their best interest in mind, and frankly, they have our best interest in mind, too," Didot said.

Bella Mia in Harrisonburg is also taking extra precautions with customers in mind.

"We're deep cleaning as much as we can, we're offering sanitizer when people come in if they want to use it. All my employees have to wear gloves," Salvatore Carannante, Bella Mia owner, said.

Carannante said they've been seeing a less crowded dining room, but don't plan on temporarily closing unless recommended.

"Right now, we're open. We offer to-go if they want to come in then go," Carannante said. "If they want to come in and eat, we have plenty of room so they have plenty of space to be far away from each other so they feel comfortable."

Carannante said if suggested by the government, he will suspend service at the restaurant if it means keeping the community and customers safe.

Some states, like Maryland and Ohio, have had their governors order restaurants and bars to close in-house dining and drinking. Virginia, at this point, has not.