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Saline County quickly adapts to Covid-19 closure reality

  • Hucks in Harrisburg at the Commercial Street location had the lowest observed price for gas Friday at $1.639. This photo was taken when the price momentarily rose a penny.

    Hucks in Harrisburg at the Commercial Street location had the lowest observed price for gas Friday at $1.639. This photo was taken when the price momentarily rose a penny.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • Customers line up in the drive-through of the Eldorado McDonald's.

    Customers line up in the drive-through of the Eldorado McDonald's.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • By 3:30 p.m., cars were parked nearly everywhere near Thrive cannabis dispensary in Harrisburg.

    By 3:30 p.m., cars were parked nearly everywhere near Thrive cannabis dispensary in Harrisburg.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

  • A Harrisburg Burger King employee, wearing gloves, holds a tray for transfers at the restaurant's drive-through on Monday.

    A Harrisburg Burger King employee, wearing gloves, holds a tray for transfers at the restaurant's drive-through on Monday.
    GATHA MOORE PHOTO

  • Gas prices continued to drop in Harrisburg on Monday, at this point hitting $1.569 per gallon.

    Gas prices continued to drop in Harrisburg on Monday, at this point hitting $1.569 per gallon.
    GATHA MOORE PHOTO

 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
Posted on 3/24/2020, 10:57 AM

SALINE COUNTY -- A drive around Saline County revealed how county residents are adapting to the new realities social distancing and coronavirus have created.

Those realities continued to change as Gov. JB Pritzker announced his "stay-at-home" order Friday afternoon, which went into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Before the order was announced, restaurants already had been prohibited from allowing inside dining. Drive-through and carryout/curbside deliver were the only options. Despite that, most drive-thrus at area restaurants saw little traffic Friday afternoon. By late Saturday afternoon, prior to the order's start time, business did appear to increase at drive-thrus.

Likely the busiest business in Harrisburg Friday afternoon was the Thrive cannabis dispensary. By 12:30 p.m., cars filled every available parking space and began parking up and down the north end of Veterans Drive. By 3:30 p.m., the number of parked cars appeared to be slightly less that on Jan. 1, the day legal recreational cannabis sales began.

The number of cars likely was due to Thrive's strict policies regarding operating during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the company's website at www.thriveil.com and its Facebook page, Thrive IL, medical patients are a priority and multiple protocols are in place to reduce the chances of transmission of coronavirus.

Those restrictions include significant reduction in hours for recreational sales. Schedules may be viewed on the company's website and are subject to change.

Gas prices also hit lows, with the lowest price observed in Harrisburg at $1.639 per gallon. In the afternoon, shortly after Pritzker's announcement, several gas stations could be seen with large numbers of vehicles getting gas. Many people also were filling gas containers.

By Monday, gas had dropped again to $1.569 per gallon.