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Nail salons, other businesses deemed nonessential take precaution as they start to reopen

Posted at 1:12 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 14:39:17-04

Just one look around File and Style nail salon in Denver, Colorado, and you can imagine it’s a fun place to be and get your nails done.

“We’ve been in this community for 14 years," said Maureen MacArthur, owner of File and Style. "We’ve got the best clients in the world."

The salon is MacArthur’s main source of income, and her business hasn’t been open for two months.

“When you shut down for seven weeks, it’s a huge impact," she said. "You work 14 years in a community that you love and you love your employees. It was hard."

Being closed for that long has been tough for her and for employees. Employees like Rachele Barta.

“I want to get back to normal, somewhat. The new normal, but yes, I would love to see my clients again,” said Barta.

While some businesses have been able to adapt to social distancing guidelines, like restaurants offering take-out, that wasn't really an option for a nail salons. Now, as some states across the country allow some businesses to reopen, MacArthur will have to get creative.

“No one is allowed into the salon until we call them, so if you have an appointment, you’re asked to wait in the car," she explained of the new precautions the salon has implemented. "You will have a temperature check and we will immediately ask you to wash your hands. You aren’t allowed to touch the polishes. I will have gloves on and a mask, and all clients will have to wear masks also."

That all sounds thorough, but it wasn’t quite enough for MacArthur.

That's when she got a call from a friend with an idea.

Her friend and her husband built Plexiglass barriers that customers' hands could slide underneath.

The hope is the new procedures will help keep everyone safe.

“With the safeguard Plexiglass, masks, and gloves, limits on people in here definitely makes me feel comfortable,” said Barta.

But that doesn’t mean it will be 100 percent effective.

“Do I debate over whether the ninth is the right day? Yes, I toss and turn over it,” said MacArthur.

The White House guidelines list the following:

Employers should develop and implement appropriate policies, regarding:

  • Social distancing and protective equipment
  • Temperature checks
  • Testing, isolating, and contact tracing
  • Sanitation

MacArthur thinks her policies will allow for employees and customers to be closer than 6 feet and have physical contact.

“This is going to be our new normal, and I feel like the precautions that we’ve come up with, thank goodness, really give a barrier so that it can be safe moving forward,” she said.