There is no question that we all want to get back to re-open our businesses soon. I am constantly receiving questions from my clients about when we can do this, and how are we going to conduct our business when we do? This, plus the financial hardship our employees and our guests are experiencing, creates an even stronger want to get back to work.
I am responsible for my own health, and responsible to know that I am not sick, to know that I do not have symptoms of the Coronavirus and will not knowingly infect anyone. As business owners, we must accept this responsibility for the safety of our staff and clients.
Unfortunately, though, not everybody else is this this responsible. After re-opening on May 4th, two stylists at a Great Clips Salon in Springfield, MO, tested positive for COVID-19 and worked several days while experiencing “very mild symptoms.” The salon had required that all employees and clients wear masks. While at work, these stylists directly exposed seven co-workers and 140 clients to the virus, and only time will tell if any additional cases result. The salon has since closed, is currently undergoing deep cleaning, and are awaiting guidance from the local health department to tell them when they can re-open. Between May 14th and May 20th, one of the stylists visited a gym, Dairy Queen, Walmart, and CVS. Anyone who could possibly have been infected have been warned to monitor for symptoms and, if they develop, to self-quarantine. Unfortunately, this is how fast this can happen. In any event, it certainly colors our “new normal” and brings into question when it is safe to re-open. In Ulster, NY, a barber stayed open in defiance of the state’s stay at home order. Now, the barber has tested positive for COVID-19. This may be the first of many such situations we will hear about; I am watching Georgia, Florida, and Texas, as they were among the first states to re-open.