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"Assume everyone coming in has COVID," Knoxville salon won't reopen in May

(WVLT)
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 3:38 PM EDT
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A Knoxville salon owner said she would not reopen her business May 1st, even though city and county mayors gave salons the green light to open their doors.

is a full service salon that specializes in eyelash extensions. For that reason, owner Heather Tackett told

she wasn't comfortable reopening until June, at the earliest.

"We’re placing ourselves within eight inches of our client's face for one to three hours. We’re in contact with their tears. And the difference for me is the close contact. We wouldn’t go to the grocery store and hold hands with the cashier, or the person in line behind you, while breathing in their face for two hours with a bandana," Tackett said. "We normally work with medical masks on, M95 and charcoal filter. I donated my supply at the beginning of this when I closed my doors prior to being mandated. I’ve been trying to source PPE stock for weeks at huge costs. I don’t feel we can open to do eyelashes until I have PPE that we need to protect ourselves and our guests. We have to assume everyone coming in has COVID and take precautions to that effect."

Tackett said her decision not to reopen was based on safety, not business. "As a cosmetologist and an aesthetician we’re trained in cross contamination, but I feel like our businesses are going to have to operate at a hospital level going forward for who knows how long or permanently."

Customers have been anxious to get services. Tackett said some went to great lengths during stay at home orders to make appointments.

"People always love beauty services because it makes them feel good and our industry is typically unaffected by any downturns in the economy because people want to feel better," she said. "It’s a desperation of people needing that feel better service. We had people begging us to come to their houses, come to our houses, and it just isn’t possible during this."

Tackett said her salon would not offer any services until at least June.

Copyright 2020 WVLT News. All rights reserved.

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