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Shaggy heads rejoice, Governor McMasters says close-contact businesses can reopen next week

Pine Ridge, SC (Paul Kirby) – Governor Henry McMaster said Monday afternoon that other businesses closed due to the COVID-19 virus may open next week! He set their reopening date for Monday, May 18, 2020. These are considered close-contact businesses that have been shuttered during the pandemic. He made his decision to close these by emergency order on the advice of South Carolina Public Health officials in March of this year.

The businesses covered by the change include salons and barber shops, and public pools or gyms. He also said salons that remove or shape hair with threading or waxing, do your nails, and provide massages are included. You may even visit your local tattoo parlor or stop by a body art shop again. Gyms will also be allowed to welcome their customers back!

Of course, there are some guidelines that have been developed for these businesses they should follow. DHEC and accelerateSC collaborated to develop these so businesses could keep their customers and employees safe.

Gyms should limit their clients based on the square footage of their business. The guidelines suggest only five customers per 1000 square feet or 20% of their occupancy rating, whichever is less. Close-contact businesses should also use a digital check-in process and limit the number of customers waiting their turn for service. Employees should wear masks and change smocks as they move from customer to customer. The employees also need to clean their workstations each time a new customer is served. Even water fountains are included as the team suggest they only be used to refill a water bottle and not for simply drinking as they were before the virus. None of these guidelines are mandatory but were developed to keep public safe and healthy.

This is great news for Lexington County small business owners that have been closed for several months. Most are locally owned and operated. Each day, the businesses’ owners are usually there to make customer service and cleanliness their top priority. This virus has been a roadblock on their paths to financial success as they were closed tight with rules even stricter than the ones placed on restaurants. Those could still serve by drive-thru, take out, or by a delivery service.

You can go to accelrateSC’s website to see a complete list of the suggested guidelines. After that, it is up to you to choose a business based on their adherence with the protective processes and how much risk is right for you. That website can be found at www.accelerate.sc.gov.

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