Eveleth Feeling Broad Impacts of COVID-19

The streets of Eveleth were mostly empty Sunday as people were heeding the government's warnings and staying home and businesses there are doing their best to keep their bearings.

EVELETH, Minn. – The coronavirus and its far-reaching effects are hitting Iron Range businesses.

Streets in Eveleth were mostly empty Sunday as people were heeding the government’s warnings and staying home and businesses there are doing their best to keep their bearings.

“If somebody would have told me two weeks ago that this was going to happen I never would have believed them,” said Al Zupancich, the co-owner of Eveleth IGA.

The Eveleth IGA is one of the only grocers in Eveleth, and Zupancich says his suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the high demand.

Though the store was quiet on Sunday, Zupancich says his crew is still recovering from al the panic buying.

“It started just like an avalanche people were coming in buying anything they could, first of all, it was toilet paper then it was eggs and meat and bread and it completely cleaned us out,” says Zupancich.

Meanwhile, at the Eveleth Short Stop, gas station and convenience store, workers are doing what they can to keep themselves and the customers as safe as possible.

“Doing gloves obviously, cleaning a lot more than usual but we’ve been pretty good on that anyways, and we are getting a screen to protect us like Super One,” said Mariah Lehtinen, of the Eveleth Short Stop.

Some restaurants in Eveleth have closed, but The Rink Sports Bar is still open for curbside and delivery.

Owners there were forced to lay off 50 percent of staff in wake of the pandemic and say the financial hit has been tremendous, but they are trying to make the best of the situation.

“People still need to get out they want to at least go for a drive and pick something up to eat and I have to say the community has been just amazingly supportive through all of this,” said Michele Woods, the owner of The Rink.

Though the streets of Eveleth, and proclaimed “capital of American hockey”, are quiet during the pandemic, Eveleth’s citizens are staying positive.

“Like everything this too will pass, it’s a process we have to go through it, no one is giving us a choice in the matter so we just get through it the best way we possibly can,” said Woods.

 

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