Dane County businesses anticipate phase two of Forward Dane

MADISON, Wis.– It’s been over two weeks since phase one of Forward Dane was initiated, and with mostly green metrics, phase two could be just around the corner.

Phase two would increase capacity to 50 percent for businesses, including retail shops, restaurants, bars, gyms and salons. Outdoor playgrounds and splash pads would be allowed to reopen. Visitors for compassionate care at long-term care facilities will also be allowed, according to Forward Dane.

“What’s changed? It’s the question we all ask, because things change on a day-to-day basis,” R.P. Adler’s bar manager Jennifer Hamre said. “(The changes) make coming in and working on a day-to-day basis interesting.”

R.P. Adler’s reopened during phase one of Forward Dane. Sales are still down by about 50 percent, according to management.

“People are coming back in, but we can definitely tell that there are some who are not comfortable with it yet,” Hamre said. “We have not seen some of our regular faces in the building yet.”

Hamre said the establishment is looking forward to welcoming even more customers back, but there are some concerns.

“You can see what 25 percent is. You can clearly look around the room and say we’re there,” Hamre said. “We get to 50 percent and that starts to muddle. You can’t look at what 50 percent is.”

Phase two is labeled as the “maintain” phase. If metrics aren’t maintained, it’s possible to go back to previous phases, according to the plan.