Health And Public Safety Recommendations For The Reopening Of The Professional Beauty Industry
It is acknowledged that all services within the Professional Beauty Industry (Cosmetology, Barbering, Nails and Esthetics) carry some risk in this viral environment due to the nature of the services provided and the inability to maintain social distancing. With that said, licensed professionals have been trained to mitigate these risks significantly through the use of proper infection control standards required by the state regulatory licensing rules and regulations.
The following recommendations, therefore, are enhancements to those existing rules and they address the unique scenario presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the professional beauty educational curriculum, students are taught the definition of Universal Precautions. Therefore, in this environment we are going to follow Universal Precautions and assume that everyone is COVID-19 positive and take all the precautions necessary to mitigate the risk of the spread while still performing a service that is necessary and provides economic and psychosocial benefits to the population.
ALL EXISTING HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY (INFECTION CONTROL) RULES ARE STILL IN EFFECT AND ENFORCED
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): With the understanding that PPE is often not worn properly, will be in very short supply moving forward and will likely become very costly; we make the following recommendations.
- Masks: Licensees should wear masks as a safety measure when providing a service. These masks can be disposable or cloth and must be disposed of or washed properly as required by the CDC. Disposable masks should be made available to patron and may only be used for a single customer. Even in the presence of Plexiglas partitions, a mask must be worn by the licensee.
- Gloves: It is not a recommendation to require gloves. When gloves are worn for infection control purposes, they must be changed with each service and that volume alone would be difficult to manage. Gloves worn all day, become more troublesome than no gloves at all. It is recommended that licensees be more adherent to the existing rules regarding hand washing after and before each service. It is further recommended that the licensee washes hands in front of the patron if the opportunity exists.
- Gowns: There is no recommendation to wear gowns at this time. Due to the nature of this transmission, the wearing of gowns does not offer additional significant protection and is both expensive and uncomfortable.
Hand Hygiene: Proper hand hygiene is documented to be an essential action to reduce the spread of viral illness. All states require some form of hand hygiene (washing or hand sanitizer) prior to and after a service. It is recommended that these rules be more strictly enforced and acknowledged that hand washing is the preferred method of hand hygiene and it should be done as frequently as possible, but always after eating, smoking and using the restroom. Hand sanitizer should be made available for all patrons and required prior to a nail service.
Customer Interactions: The following recommendations reduce the number of patrons in a business at a single time and limit interactions that could be of risk.
Appointments: All services must be scheduled with adequate time in between appointments to properly clean and disinfect. Employers should be held accountable for allowing their employees to have enough time to allow for proper disinfection without repercussions. Patrons should be asked to wait outside or in their cars until they are called for their appointment. Appointments should be staggered to avoid multiple people in the waiting areas.
Double Booking: This should not be done unless each patron can be left in a single chair throughout the process and distancing measures maintained. Limiting the movement of patrons throughout the business reduces risk to both patrons and staff.
Hand shaking is not allowed!
Payments: Cashless payment systems are preferred, but not required. If Point of Sale (POS) equipment is used and a patron must sign or enter PIN, the equipment must be disinfected after each use.
Thermometers: The use of thermometers for temperature scanning is optional. A fever only indicates someone who is already symptomatic and likely knows that. The goal is to treat all patrons (many of whom may be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic) as though they are sick.
Signage: Signage should be posted that states services will not be offered to or given by anyone who is sick or exhibiting signs of illness. Patrons should be asked prior to a service if they have been sick or exposed to someone who is sick. If so, services should be deferred for 10-14 days.
Distancing: It is acknowledged that social distancing recommendations of 6 feet cannot be met in the actual service itself. However, the following distancing measures can be instituted to reduce risk:
- If chairs are situated such that the patrons are closer than 6 feet – every other chair should be used or chairs staggered if possible.
- There should be no more than 10 people in the business at any time (including staff) until those recommendations have been lifted by your state.
- Break rooms should be temporarily closed
- Waiting area chairs should be removed or spaced in such a manner to accommodate social distancing requirements
Disinfection: All states currently require the cleaning and disinfection of non-porous implements prior to use and the disposal of porous implements after a single use. Both of these practices should be vigorously adhered to and the following recommendations added:
- Disinfection of high touch areas including, but not limited to:
- Door handles on main entrance and restrooms
- Reception desk
- Point of Sale (POS) equipment
- Stations (including foot/nail drying stations)
Items to be temporarily Disallowed: Some items that currently are common place in these environments should be removed or moved:
- Public coffee or water stations
- Magazines/ books / newspapers
- Candy dishes
- Product testers/samples