reopening the bay area

Barbershops, Hair Salons in Contra Costa County Reopen

NBC Universal, Inc.

If you are looking for a haircut, Contra Costa County is the place to be.

The county on Wednesday became the first of the six core Bay Area counties to reopen barbershops and hair salons. But the experience is quite different compared to pre-coronavirus times.

At the Beauty Lounge in Walnut Creek, clients have to wait outside until their stylist is ready. They are then greeted by staff members wearing masks and offered hand sanitizer. Chairs inside the shop are blocked off. Stations are set up several feet apart. Stylists are not blow drying hair over concerns that it could push the virus into the air.

Even with all the new rules, Wednesday was a day Jill Beyer has been dreaming of.

“I am ecstatic about getting my hair done today,” she said.

Beauty Lounge manager Mark Woods said during the roughly three-month closure, he often wondered whether the salon would survive.

“There were always the fears,” he said. “You’re worried about the rent, how the landlords are going to work out with us, what they have available.”

Wednesday’s reopening happened despite evidence showing that the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the area are on the rise.

Woods admitted he is concerned and said he’s opening with caution.

“The stylists, the service providers are wearing face shields,” he said. “We are cleaning up before and after, sanitizing, just trying to make it as safe as we can and following the CDC guidelines.”

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