Follow these suggestions to reduce your risk of COVID-19 when getting a haircut or manicure.
Five months after Gov. Tom Wolf issued Pennsylvania’s stay at home order, people are asking a simple question.
Is it safe to get a haircut? Or a manicure? Or eyelash extensions?
Though many salons have been open since Erie County entered the green phase of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan, some people have been reluctant to visit these businesses.
That’s understandable, county health officials have said. There is a risk anytime you are in close contact with someone for an extended period of time.
There are steps you can take to reduce, but not eliminate, your risk of catching COVID-19 while visiting a salon. Here are some suggestions from Consumer Reports:
Check your community’s COVID-19 rates. If your city or county is a COVID-19 hotspot, you probably want to wait to get that haircut or manicure.
You can check the county’s daily COVID-19 case counts at www.eriecountypa.gov and see the ZIP Code-level counts at www.health.pa.gov.
Also check your community’s positivity rate, the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive for the virus. It should be below 5%, an epidemiologist told Consumer Reports. Erie County’s rate is 5.6% overall but lower in recent days.
Ask about the salon’s COVID-19 policies. The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires salons to follow certain protocols to reduce the risk of transmission.
Among other measures, the salons should make sure employees and customers wear face masks, practice social distancing when possible, clean and sanitize frequently, and take temperature checks of their workers.
You can ask about a salon’s safety precautions when you schedule an appointment. If you arrive and don’t feel they are doing enough to reduce the risk of transmission, leave and go to another salon.
Take your own precautions. Not only should you wear a mask if you’re getting a haircut, you should wear one that fits snugly against your face and has more than one layer of tightly woven material, Consumer Reports suggested.
You should also wear a mask that goes around your ears, so the stylist can cut your hair more easily.
Take your own hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
Most importantly, spend as little time in the salon as possible to reduce possible exposure. Wash your hair at home or get an allover color treatment instead of highlights, which take more time.