By Joe Holden


NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (CBS) — The COVID-19 outbreak has morphed from a health care crisis into an economic one, with businesses closing their doors. Construction was the only work heard in West Chester as local economies grind to a halt.

Under sweeping orders, so-called nonessential businesses, restaurants and bars were closed as officials scrambled to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s a little bit scary. I was at the grocery store earlier today and there was nothing on the shelves,” Joan Crowley said.

Barbershops, firms, businesses were all quiet Monday. A music and vinyl store was open — kind of.

“We don’t want any contact, so what we’re doing is we’re having people call in if they want any product,” a store employee named Will said.

And out of an abundance of caution, Eyewitness News conducted our face-to-face interview through the door window and over the phone.

“I would say we are nervously paying attention. We care about our customers,” Will said.

At Penn’s Table Restaurant, takeout was the only option for customers.

“Just one day at a time, one order at a time,” Justin Lucas said.

Owner Chris Lucas is staying open to help his staff. He also had this urgent message for those in the community.

“If you’re in need, I’d actually urge you to come see me. For any children that are in need, families that are in need to feed their children, come see me and I’ll take care of you for sure,” Chris Lucas said.

You could sense the anxiety among members of the business community who are concerned this will be longer than a two-week pause.