Keystone set to reopen

As COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, fears still linger, some Keystone businesses are beginning to think about opening up.


“Some crazy business people spent some time yesterday day counting cars going through main street of Keystone to the tune of 300 cars an hour many out of state plates people spoken to seemed disappointed nothing open some had traveled as far as Arizona to (South Dakota) with

no problems of motels till (South Dakota) maybe it's time to open some businesses and follow the guidelines sorry food for thought,” posted Sean McNulty on the Keystone Happenings Facebook page.


Presidential Perks is one such business that took the plunge to reopen. The drive thru coffee kiosk will have limited hours and a limited menu and will follow social distancing guidelines.


While some disagree with the call to open businesses, Susan Besancon, a local business owner, reminded people that, “There is no shut down order in South Dakota, Pennington County or Keystone. Everyone is free to open when they want, and I suppose those who feel it is worth their while will do so. The president’s guidelines call for Americans to avoid non-essential travel. That includes tourism.”


Town board President Rick Brandfas, who has appealed to businesses repeatedly to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines agreed that businesses have the freedom to reopen when they feel the time is right.


“Businesses can open whenever they want and are under no town restrictions,” Brandfas said. “Based on the CDC guidelines some may make adjustments based on those guidelines. The town highly recommends they follow the guidelines.”


A few business owners are concerned about following proper hygiene recommendations of the CDC since public bathrooms in the small tourist town are still closed. Several businesses want the public to know that while the virus outbreak is still an issue, the public can use their restrooms without feeling unwelcome.


“In case anyone is not opening because of public restroom access...Boss’ Pizza and Chicken has always, is currently and will continue to allow any members of the public to use our restrooms regardless of restaurant patronage,“ said owner Chris Glaesemann.


BarLees and Big Thunder Gold Mine have also stated they will allow restroom use to non-patrons. The town’s public bathrooms are slated to open as soon as construction in the vicinity is complete.


“The public bathroom across the street from the old post office will open after the concrete sidewalk by it is poured,” said Brandfas. 


When town services will resume again in a face-to-face manner has yet to be determined. “City Hall is still closed with the exception of the city clerk’s office by calling first, same with the library,” Brandfas said. “It being closed to the public has not caused any problems of right now, board meetings are still conference call.”


The board expects a decision on reopening the library to come shortly.

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