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Businesses prepare for in-house customers

Updated: May. 10, 2020 at 11:16 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey made adjustments to the new Safer at Home Order on Friday, which allow more businesses, like hair salons and workout facilities, to open their doors Monday.

Business owners are now making preparations for customers to come inside after over a month with little to no business.

“We were very excited,” said Michelle Day, Owner of Hair Etc. LLC. “Our phone, of course, started blowing up. Customers are anxiously awaiting to come back and get their hair done and we’re very excited to be able to give them that service again.”

Day said her salon serves customers of all ages and a lot of them require their services on a weekly basis.

“I have clients that are elderly, that depend on us to shampoo their hair once a week, who literally cannot shampoo their own hair,” Day said. “Some of these ladies have been sitting at home this whole time waiting to get back in just to get their hair shampooed. So absolutely we are an essential business.”

Her hairdressers and clients will be required to wear a mask and a limited amount of customers and stylists will be allowed in the salon at once. They are also taking all sanitary precautions required under the new order.

“As hairdressers we are trained from school on how to sanitize our equipment to help stop the spread of infectious diseases so that is not a new thing for us,” Day said. “We’re going to have our customers wait in their cars before they come in for their service to be done. We’re going to have them use hand sanitizer when they enter. We’ll be in masks and we’ll have masks for sale here in the salon for our customers.”

They will also routinely wipe down surfaces and salon chairs before and after clients leave.

Lynne Ellen Kershaw, owner of Core Vibes Studio, a Pilates and wellness facility, said a lot of her services are what helps keep people’s immune systems strong to help fight viruses.

“One of the things they talk about fighting the virus is to be in good shape and exercise so we of course think exercise is essential,” Kershaw said.

Ivey’s announcement to reopen came a bit earlier than Kershaw anticipated, but she said they are eager to welcome clients back inside.

“We were surprised and thrilled,” Kershaw said. “I was a little like ‘oh my gosh I thought I had one more week to get things together’ so I just happened to come up today to clean and sterilize everything and organize everything to open back up on Monday. So we are very happy to be able to open back up.”

Kershaw is using a substance called hypochlorous acid to disinfect her studio.

“It’s used for cleaning wrestling mats in gyms and it’s a natural product. It’s very safe,” Kershaw said.

She also has hand sanitizer available for use to guests and hospital grade wipes to help keep equipment clean. She has also spaced out her Pilates tables six feet apart.

“We actually spaced them apart before we were shut down so it’s even a little bit more than six feet apart,” Kershaw said.

Her classes have, at times, a maximum of three people in them so she said she is not worried about clients standing to close to one another.

“You know some people are going to want to stay home, but some people are going to want to come out, so we just want to be here for the ones that want to come back to class,” said Kershaw.

Under Ivey’s amended order, entertainment venues, night clubs, theaters and bowling alleys must remain closed. This new order is in effect until 5 p.m. May 22.

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