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Adapting to a new normal

Devin Martin
Updated: July 15, 2020 11:48 PM
Created: July 15, 2020 10:30 PM

(ABC 6 News) - In Charles City, a recent poll gives insight on the public's comfort levels and feedback in returning to stores, restaurants/bars, and public events. 

This poll was given to Charles City residents to complete from July 2-15. It was organized by the Community Revitalization program of Charles City in partnership with Main Street Iowa. 

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As a result, 683 people took part in the 16 question survey. That's a total of 9% of the Charles City population. 

33.8% of the people said they would attend a large outdoor event with social distancing guidelines, while 22.5% said they would attend a large indoor event with social distancing guidelines. 

"I thought that we would see a little higher percentage of people who were ready to do things right now,"  said Mark Wicks, Charles City Chamber of Commerce Director.

"It is surprising because being a small business there's not as much room, you're going to be closer together. When you're in close proximity like that is when you should be taking more precautions," Cindy Uetz, owner of Main Street Drug in Charles City said. "The fact that the outdoor events had lower amounts that were willing to attend those was surprising."

One thing city leaders are happy to see is that more than half of the respondents felt comfortable shopping in person at local small businesses. 

"We want people to come back out and start shopping, feeling more comfortable. Getting them through the door is half the battle normally but it's even worse now that we have COVID affecting it," Uetz said.

Protective face coverings were also popular among respondents.

As for in-door dining, 41.6% said they feel comfortable returning to restaurants, and 40.7% said they want to see amenities like curbside and carryout dining options continue. 

"We had a good turnout," Wicks said. "We had good publicity about it and a really good response from the public, which we thank them very much because their input is very helpful." 


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