On tame Black Friday, Lorain County braces for Purple Level 4 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

On tame Black Friday, Lorain County braces for Purple Level 4 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - “This was supposed to be a high point for the city of Lorain as we had a lot of momentum coming into the summer,” Tony Dimacchia, councilman at-large for the city of Lorain, said.

Black Friday on Lorain’s Broadway Avenue featured few buildings open for business and even few buyers looking for holiday gifts.

Since Lorain County got elevated to the dreaded Purple Alert Level 4 for COVID-19, groups and businesses on the shopping street are feeling the weight of the pandemic even more.

Carl Nielsen, the master goldsmith at Nielsen Jewelers, began to institute all of the necessary steps since the city’s lock-down last spring.

Now, he wants others to do the same.

“This latest escalation has really opened a lot of people’s eyes. We should have taken it seriously since day one,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t have to go into a lock down mode like we did in the spring.”

Councilman Dimacchia acknowledges the sacrifices small businesses continue to make, but keeping spirits high is a challenge.

“I want to tell them to be patient and hope that we find ourselves in a better place,” he said. “But as a business owner this is one of the most challenging times you could ever imagine. The anxiety level is high with everybody.”

That anxiety is also felt with non-profit organizations in the city. Members of Lorain’s Alcoholics Anonymous — who chose to remain anonymous — explained that the new covid restrictions will prevent the group from in-person gatherings. One member also added that a few members have already relapsed.

As the numbers continue to change across the county, councilman Dimacchia asks everyone to lean into the science.

“Numbers don’t lie. following those numbers and making sure we’re safe,” he said. “Doing the things that professionals are asking us to do.”

And while he continues to keep his business open, Neilsen still doesn’t have all of the answers.

“Everybody is searching for the new normal, and we’re all trying to find our way,” he added.

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