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BATAVIA – Daureen Martinez of Batavia was glad to see the Ace Hardware in Batavia was still open March 22 after Gov. JB Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The order took effect at 5 p.m. March 21 and will last until at least April 7. As part of the order, all nonessential businesses must close. Hardware stores are among the essential businesses that can remain open.
Martinez was at the store to pick up some painter’s tape for a project she is working on at home.
Martinez said she is trying to protect herself the best she can in the face of the outbreak.
“I wear my gloves and wash my hands,” she said.
Tom Croft, floor manager at the Ace Hardware in Batavia, said the store has been selling a lot of paint lately as people work on projects while they are stuck at home.
“They’re doing all their projects,” Croft said. “I didn’t work yesterday, but I guess there were eight people waiting at the paint counter. We’re selling a lot of paint and a lot of water softener salt.”
Like other stores, the Ace Hardware store in Batavia has had a hard time getting items such as face masks, which are in high demand these days.
“The warehouse said they were getting them in and we got eight or 10 masks,” Croft said. “We thought we were getting 96.”
The store has been doing as much as it can to protect its customers and employees.
“We’re constantly wiping and cleaning everything,” Croft said.
Additionally, people can order online or call the store and employees will bring their order out to their car when they arrive at the store. More and more people are starting to take advantage of that service, Croft said.