ATLANTA — The state has released more guidelines to help hair salons and spas in Georgia safely open back up later this week.
On Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp said barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, and a few other businesses could open on Friday. Tuesday night, Gov. Brian Kemp's office sent a information explaining in detail what steps those specific businesses should take during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I deeply appreciate the work of Kay Kendrick and the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers to prepare guidelines for implementation by Georgia's shops and salons," the news release said.
"As we begin the process of safely reopening our economy, it is critical that business owners, operators, and contractors adhere strictly to increased safety and sanitation guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19."
Kay Kendrick, chair of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers said there are 95,000 licensees under there board.
Salon/shop owners and managers should use the OSHA “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” as a guide for reopening.
Below are some of the top-level guidelines for salon and spa operators to follow:
Salons should consider use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employees each day and of each client who enters the salon/shop.
Ask each client entering the shop the following questions - Have you had a cough? Have you had a fever? Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days? Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
Limit People In Shops/Salons
Salons/shops should consider seeing clients by appointment only. Salons/shops should consider telephonic or online scheduling. Limit the number of persons in the waiting area of the salon/shop.
It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon/shop in their vehicle until the cosmetologist or barber is ready to serve them. It is recommended that persons not being serviced in the salon/shop wait outside the salon/shop.
Maintain Social Distancing
Spacing between persons in the salon should be at least six feet at all times. Salons/shops should consider additional spacing between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules.
Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Best Practices
Salon/shop employees will be required to wear masks at all times. Salons may want to consider providing masks to clients. Clients should wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services.
Salons/shops should also make use of face shields, gloves, disposable or re-washable capes, smocks, neck strips, etc.
These items should be disinfected or disposed of between each client. Employees should should arrive at the salon/shop showered and wearing clean clothing and change clothes before leaving the salon/shop each day.
Hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.
All salons/shops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before the salon/shop was closed.
Salons/shops should maintain regular disinfection of all tools, shampoo bowls, pedicure bowls, workstations, treatment rooms, and restrooms.
Additionally, salons/shops should remove all unnecessary items (magazines, newspapers, service menus, and any other unnecessary paper products/decor) from reception areas and ensure that these areas and regularly touched surfaces are consistently wiped down, disinfected, and that hand sanitizer is readily available to clients and staff.
Avoiding the exchange of cash can help in preventing the spread of the virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction.
The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.
Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
Salon/shop owners/managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, use of PPE, and other protective behaviors.
Ensure break rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not used for congregating by employees.
Be flexible with work schedules/salon hours to reduce the number of people (employees and clients) in salons/shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.
"I am very happy that Gov.Kemp decided that we can reopen our salons and spas," said Kendrick.
RELATED: Health experts worry COVID-19 cases could still rise, Georgia not prepared to reopen businesses
"By adding the safety guidelines that have been developed by the board and some of our industry leaders in the cosmetology and barber profession, we feel that our professionals will be able to do an even better job of protecting themselves and their clients," Kendrick added. "I trust that all our professionals will use these guidelines to be safe and protect their clients. "
A complete list of guidelines will be made available on the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers' website.
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