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How 'essential' businesses are handling the COVID-19 outbreak

Wash Land Laundromat and Crossroads Cleaners are doing all they can to stay open while keeping their 'social distance' from the public.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have all heard about the "non-essential" businesses that are having to close their doors. But what about those "essential businesses" that are staying open? How are they getting by?

"I was going around to the stores yesterday and it was kind of eerie just seeing all of the machines running and not a single person in the stores," said Kenny Murray, the owner of Wash Land Laundromat.

If your neighborhood has been a ghost town lately, you're not alone. Social distancing has become the new normal in our society and that's still the case for even the essential businesses out there like Wash Land and Crossroads Cleaners.

"The biggest thing that we're doing is keeping customers out of the store, while their laundry is processing so we've asked everyone to sit in their car while their laundry is in the machines and we've stopped anyone from doing any folding in the store so we've asked everyone to take their laundry home and fold it instead of staying in the stores," Murray said.

As far as sanitation goes, places like Wash Land make it a priority to clean regularly. 

"We walk through the store and pretty much spray everything upon the hour, so we're spraying down laundry carts, surfaces and the washers themselves," said Murray.

Over at Crossroads Cleaners in Chesapeake, they're still servicing the general public, along with dry cleaning healthcare, law enforcement, and military personnel uniforms.

But that doesn't mean business is steady.

"Our business has dropped drastically. Honestly we are doing 20 percent of our normal business so we are down by 80 percent," Andy Peterson said.

Owner Chris Peterson said they are going to keep on, keepin' on because of the responsibility they have to their loyal customers.

"The government has allowed us to be open and we're grateful for that, so we're going to stay open and we have thousands of orders in here. So if our customers come to get them and we're not here, then they can't get their clothes," Chris Peterson said.

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