Attending a local farmers’ market is going to be quite a bit different this summer, just like so much else that’s changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A long list of new practices incorporating social distancing, hand-washing stations and elimination of entertainment and social gathering have been announced for the upcoming Market at the Square, Urbana, and Champaign Farmers Market.
The new guidelines were decided in cooperation with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District for safe operation of the markets this year.
Market at the Square will open for the season May 2.
Here’s some of what to expect:
— Vendors will need to be spaced six feet apart and each will be required to have a hand-washing station.
— Only one shopper per household will be allowed into the market, and children won’t be allowed to attend. (Exceptions will be made for the elderly and disabled.)
— Vendors will be limited to selling food products only.
— No social gathering will be permitted.
— There will be only one entrance and one exit that will include a handwashing station for shoppers entering and leaving the market.
— Vendors will be required to wear masks and gloves.
— No change will be given for cash transactions.
— Produce must be displayed out of reach to shoppers.
— Vendors will need to sanitize surfaces every hour and credit card devices after each transaction.
— There won’t be any sampling or on-site consumption of food permitted.
— Until products have been bagged and purchased, only the vendors will be allowed to touch them.
— Market at the Square will require all shoppers to wear masks as they enter the market.
— Shoppers planning to bring reusable bags must place purchased products inside the bags themselves, and wash or sanitize the bags at home after every use.
— The market manager will determine the number of shoppers allowed into the market at any one time.
Caterer calls it quits
Bob Rowe announced his Classic Events Catering will close April 30 due to the damaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since we are unable to provide catering services during the upcoming weeks and months, which are critical to our success each year, our resources do not allow us to continue,” he said in announcing the closing.
Classic Catering was started in 1992.
Company donates hand sanitizer
Seymour-based First-Light USA has donated thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer to OSF HealthCare, OSF announced.
First-Light is a manufacturer of portable, tactical lighting solutions.
“We appreciate First-Light’s foresight and putting innovation into action, helping us provide care to those in our communities dealing with COVID-19 by donating much-needed hand sanitizer for clients of the Pandemic Health Worker Program,” said Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for Innovation and Digital Health at OSF HealthCare.
Sidney water system acquired
Illinois American Water Co. has acquired the village of Sidney’s water system for $2.3 million, picking up about 560 additional water customers in its Champaign County service area.
The village approved the sale a year ago and the water company had been operating the village water system on a contract basis since this past October.
The sale closed on April 17.
The water company also announced this past week that it’s undertaking upgrades at its treatment plant on Mattis Avenue, Champaign.
One improvement includes a new recycle pump station allowing for water used in the treatment process to be captured and reused, the company said. Other work includes replacing decades-old equipment that treats water hardness and controls pH levels to ensure high-quality drinking water.