Georgia Board of Cosmetology and Barbers issues safety guidelines for salons reopening

Georgia News

Southside Salon and Spa owner Jennifer Odister cuts her mother, Pat Johnston’s hair at Southside Salon and Spa on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Like other barbershops and salons around Chattanooga, Southside Salon and Spa will have to close its doors tomorrow to adhere with Mayor Berke’s Executive Order 2020-04, which orders businesses that cannot properly implement social distancing practices to shut down until April 16 at the earliest in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and caronavirus. (Troy Stolt /Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

ATLANTA, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers issued guidance for salons and spas to reopen after Governor Brian Kemp gave them, and some other businesses, the green light to reopen as early as Friday.

In a statement released Tuesday, Kemp said it is “critical” that businesses strictly follow 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 she is happy with Kemp’s decision. She says there are 95,000 licensees under the board, most of whom are independent contractors with no other source of income.

“Under our sanitation laws and rules, we are charged with the responsibility of protecting consumers from the spread of contagious diseases everyday in our salons,” Kendrick said. “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. I trust that all our professionals will use these guidelines to be safe and protect their clients. “

Kemp and Kendrick say salon owners and managers should use the OSHA “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” as a guide for reopening. Below are some of the guidelines suggested by the board for salon and spa operators. The complete list of guidelines is available here.

Temperature Checks: 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.

Screening Questions: 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.

Disinfection: 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.

Administration: 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.

A full list of these guidelines will be made available on the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers’ website.

Despite the above guidelines, many local businesses are choosing to stay closed come Friday. Read more here.

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