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Essential, non-essential businesses make adjustments to new stay-at-home order

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Posted at 7:40 AM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 08:40:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The phone was ringing off the hook Monday morning at Spalitto's Pharmacy in Kansas City, Missouri.

Customers wanted to know whether the pharmacy was going to stay open when new stay-at-home orders took effect Tuesday morning in the city and surrounding counties.

The answer is yes, the orders consider pharmacies an essential business, which will stay open.

Across town, Hitch Fit is closing its brick and mortar locations because the rules say gyms and fitness centers are non-essential.

Both business owners are adjusting to the new rules.

At Spalitto's, there is a sign on the door asking people with symptoms of COVID-19 to stay outside and call for an employee to deliver medication to the curb.

The owner said the pharmacy already delivers more than half its prescriptions, which will help keep people out of the store in a time where leaders preach social distancing as a way to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.

In an twist, just because the pharmacy is open, doesn't mean all the employees are comfortable working.

The owners said one employee in the age range more at risk for having a severe reaction to the virus chose not to work, forcing the owner to rearrange his existing personnel and call on his daughter-in-law for help.

"Where all these people are finding out they don't have jobs, we're an essential business where we're open, but I'm having trouble finding my regular personnel to come into work," Pete Spalitto pointed out.

At Hitch Fit, co-owner Micah LaCerte is turning to the internet to keep his clients motivated and moving. The personal trainer was one of the first in the world to use the internet for training back in 2006, so this is like going back to his roots.

He'll post how-to guides on his website and even stream live videos on social media to provide some interaction with his members.

"We're still human beings, we need interaction. We need somebody to still kick our butts, we need that positive support and motivation and that's what we're going to try to allow and create to help motivate these people," LaCerte said.

He told his clients now is the time when they grow, giving them one last bit of positive energy before closing the gym, "We don't grow when things are easy and simple, we grow when we gotta grind."