BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A number of business were forced to close as much of Erie County remains in the ‘orange zone’.
But one business is taking on government.
Zoom Tan, with 13 locations in Erie County, has a lawsuit against several, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Health, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Department of Health.
Zoom Tan and personal care businesses were required to close under the orange zone.
But the complaint by Zoom Tan seeks a temporary restraining order to reopen.
In the complaint, Zoom Tan said it is "not a personal care business”. It also claims it does not present an “immediate risk”.
Court papers say Zoom Tan is completely “touch-less” for tanning using ultraviolet or spray tanning with “no human-to-human contact.”
The business also claims of its 73,000 clients, there has been “no reported diagnoses of COVID-19 among its customer base.”
7 Eyewitness News has learned from attorney Terrance Connors, representing Zoom Tan, a judge has set a hearing for next Wednesday, December 2.
Connors issued the following statement to our newsroom.
“All of the evidence supports the conclusion that Zoom Tan is not a high risk for the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, the contrary is true due to the extreme safeguards and limited interaction at each facility. We are simply asking the Health Department to reconsider the classification. The right to pursue a profession is a liberty interest which entitles everyone to substantive due process.”
Other businesses that do fall under personal care say there has been no proof covid outbreaks are caused by salons and spas.
“I’ve not heard that we are super spreaders. I haven't heard anybody in the health care profession say that we're super spreaders and yet — we're the ones that are being shut down,” declared Michele Zimmer, The Woodhouse Day Spa, Williamsville. “Its been devastating.”
The Woodhouse Day Spa on Main Street provides an oasis of treatments from massages to facials and body treatments.
“We’ve had no cases here — we’ve been so so good and then all of a sudden to have it shut down — like I said — it's nothing short of devastating,” Zimmer replied.
Zimmer said so many personal care businesses are hurting.
“You go down Main Street — it’s one salon — hair salon — small spa after another and we all talk to each other - we're all supporting each other at we're just — at a lost of what we could do,” remarked Zimmer.
Zimmer said the shut down is most difficult for her 30-employees.
“A lot of them are single moms. They depend on this business,” explained Zimmer.
But County Executive Poloncarz says it's all about keeping people alive.
“This is about saving peoples lives. It’s all about public health,” stated Poloncarz.