COTTAGE GROVE — The Tom Moy Cafe will celebrate its 60th anniversary in January, owner Connie Moy said.

But she's not looking that far ahead. She’s taking it one day at a time, coping with the hardships wrought by the COVID-19 crisis.

March 25, Gov. Tim Walz extended the shutdown of bars and restaurants through April. That means her business and thousands of others will have to stay afloat with only curbside or carry-out orders.

Meanwhile there's rent and utility bills to pay.

“I’ve lost about two-thirds of my business,” Moy said. “People are scared.”

Those who want to order take-out can call 651-459-9119. Tom Moy Cafe is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. but is closed Mondays. People should not be fooled by the empty parking lot.

“Tell people we are open for business,” she said.

Heather Owen is among those in the fitness industry whose job was put on hold by the governor’s March 16 executive order. Owen, a Nutrition Program Coordinator at Lifetime Fitness Highland Park, also has two sons, Fielding, 10, and Hunter, 8 at home while District 833 schools are closed.

March 22, she took her sons and mother Lynn Isakson to Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park for some Geocaching. Washington County has waived entrance fees for Ravine and other county parks.

“There’s only so much you can do in the house and the yard,” Owen said.

Vickie Snyder of Stone Soup Thrift Shop hands bread bins to volunteer Michele Stachowiak March 25. Stachowiak, who will pick up donated bread at Hy-Vee, is helping Stone Soup with their curbside food delivery during the coronavirus crisis.
Vickie Snyder of Stone Soup Thrift Shop hands bread bins to volunteer Michele Stachowiak March 25. Stachowiak, who will pick up donated bread at Hy-Vee, is helping Stone Soup with their curbside food delivery during the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, Jason Ecker wiped down surfaces inside the shuttle bus he drives for DART, a Hastings nonprofit that takes Cottage Grove seniors to local supermarkets and health clinics.

“You have to do this after every ride,” he said.

In response to the coronavirus, Ecker and other DART drivers can only transport one passenger at a time, unless riders are from the same household. To schedule a pickup, call 651-455-1560 or visit https://dartsconnects.org.

Ridership has dwindled, he said. He’s wondering how much longer this can go on. And it's not interacting with the public that worries him the most.

“Personally, I’m more scared about losing my income,” he said.

Jason Ecker wipes down his DART bus shuttle March 24 in Cottage Grove. He's allowed to transport only one rider at a time, unless the riders are from the same household. William Loeffler RiverTown Multimedia
Jason Ecker wipes down his DART bus shuttle March 24 in Cottage Grove. He's allowed to transport only one rider at a time, unless the riders are from the same household. William Loeffler RiverTown Multimedia
Dentist Kate McGinn is hunkered down at her home in Afton. She’s been sidelined since the Minnesota Board of Dentistry recommended a temporary halt to routine or elective dental procedures.

Some offices have been remained open for those who need emergency care, but her practice at Metro Dentalcare is not one of them.

“I’m just waiting to hear when I can go back to work,” she said.

The board has requested that dentists donate extra masks and other protective gear to medical workers. McGinn said. She's impressed with the way businesses and individuals in Minnesotans have stepped up to prevent shortages.

McGinn said she's concerned about her sister-in-law, who works as a nurse in Jacksonville, Fla., where health care workers are facing shortages of masks and other protective gear.

"It's very real," she said quietly.

McGinn's sense of humor remains intact. If she has to go much longer without getting her hair done, she said, it won't take a governor's order to make her stay in her house.



Members of American Legion Post 98 - Georgia Olson,  Chaplain Jim Kaempfer and Cmdr. Nick Morrision -.drop off home-cooked meals to Norris Square Senior Living in Cottage Grove. William Loeffler/RiverTown Multimedia
Members of American Legion Post 98 - Georgia Olson, Chaplain Jim Kaempfer and Cmdr. Nick Morrision -.drop off home-cooked meals to Norris Square Senior Living in Cottage Grove. William Loeffler/RiverTown Multimedia




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