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Coronavirus: London businesses embracing first phase of Ontario’s reopening

Sha Choix in Wortley Village ready to open in physical 1 of provinces plan.
Sha Choix in Wortley Village ready to open in physical 1 of provinces plan. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

Local businesses in London are starting to open their doors today as the first phase of Ontario’s reopening plan gets underway.

Under the first phase, all businesses with their own street entrance are allowed to reopen to the public starting Tuesday.

The seasonal businesses and services for pets and animals are also allowed to reopen.

READ MORE: ‘A critical transition’: Stage 1 of Ontario’s gradual reopening begins Tuesday

Owner of Sha Choix, Sharinne Snellen, thinks the decision is coming a little early but is looking forward to getting some customers.

“I have been doing stuff online, but it’s not that easy because it’s accessories. It’s different when you shop because people want to see it,” she explained.

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Located in Wortley Village, the store sells gifts and accessories. Because of the building’s small size, Snellen said there would only be one customer in the store at a time unless they were a family.

She also plans only to do a few hours a day to see how things start to roll out and will not have any employees for the begging.

“I want it to go, but I don’t know the cases we have at the moment, and I won’t want it to spread more,” Snellen.

Attic Books on Dundas Place in London Ont.
Attic Books on Dundas Place in London Ont. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

Attic Books on Dundas Place is also looking to monitor customer as they come in.

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Owner Marvin Post tells Global News they are screening customers for any obvious symptoms and are encouraging physical distancing.

Since closing, he said they have been trying to do a few projects and offering curbside pickup, but he says it not the same as being able to browse the shelves.

“There were a couple of people who were quite keen to get here,” Post said.

“It’s nice seeing some people again.”

As businesses start reopening, London medical officer of health and CEO of Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) Dr. Chris Mackie told reporters during Tuesday’s media briefing that there is some cause for concern with the increase in numbers.

READ MORE: 11 new coronavirus cases reported in London-Middlesex, health unit says

On Tuesday, the MLHU reported 11 new cases, the largest single-day increase since May 10.

The update brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 484, of which 337, or about 69 per cent, have recovered.

“We should not be seeing those numbers at this stage. Both provincially and locally, today the numbers are higher then they should be,” Mackie said.

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“We are looking at trending, and if this continues, we might have to reconsider loosening public health measures.”

— With files from Matthew Trevithick