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Concerns over guidelines as hair salons, barbershops included in phase two of reopening

Crown Salon Interior Images
Posted at 5:20 PM, May 15, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erin Moser, owner of Crown Buffalo Hair Salon in the city’s Larkin District, is excited to see her co-workers again. One of those co-workers is her sister.

"This is the longest I've gone in my life not seeing a family member at all," said Moser.

The salon has been shut down since March 13, earlier than mandated by the state. But now that Gov. Cuomo has said salons and barber shops will be in phase two of the state’s reopening plan, Moser has concerns.

Not only does every member of her team have an immunocompromised family member, the state has yet to outline what standards shops need to uphold before they reopen.

"I'm not sure about capacity in my space, we have a super big team. I'm not sure if one or two employees can be in here, or if it's more the distance between them that dictates that," she said.

Without guidance about what do if they're double booked or even blow-drying, Moser said she doesn't know how to get her space ready.

"I might have to put money I don't have into remodeling, I might have to put partitions between every chair," she said.

Moser hoped Albany's Division of Licensing Services would provide some guidelines. But she said it's impossible to reach them.

So for now she's looking at what other states have done.

Moser is also worried about how the staff will work with PPE, getting hand sanitizer or Lysol wipes, or even cutting clients hair with masks on.

"If we can get a bunch of maybe sterile tongue depressers and adhering to the bottom of a face mask so they could sit like this, covered on the mouth the whole time and we can work around them," said Moser.

Crown received a small business forgivable grant, and since closing they've been selling retail items.

"Nobody is willing to look at the fact that touch businesses are not a clothing store, they're not a restaurant, we touch people. We can't do the services without touching people," said Moser.