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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Some Cincinnati Service Businesses Not Rushing To Reopen

Provided by Spruce Nail Shop

Some Ohio public officials are eager to get the economy up and running, but some Cincinnati businesses are deciding to ease out of stay-at-home orders at their own pace.

Spruce Nails in Over-the-Rhine and Pure Beauty Skin Bar in Silverton have both decided to wait until June 1to start taking appointments despite Governor Mike DeWine allowing service industry businesses to reopen on May 15.

"When you're asking someone to sit down and work in close proximity with someone, my first priority is making sure our staff feels safe and comfortable doing that," Spruce owner Molly Nagle says.

Nagle and Pure Beauty owner Sylvia Brownlee say as they created a reopen strategy, prioritizing health and safety, they reached out to employees and clients to hear when they felt comfortable returning for services.

At Spruce - the Findlay Market nail shop known for bold art designs - will reopen with five nail technicians working on two separate shifts to ensure social distancing continues. Clients will enter through the front door and out the back to decrease interactions. The Ohio Department of Health says less than six feet distance is acceptable for employee client interaction.

Nail technicians will return to work this week to get comfortable with the new cleaning measures.

Prior to COVID-19, Spruce and Pure Beauty employees were required to wear gloves during service.

Nail tech Jessica Bruce says she's more comfortable returning to work since employees were included in conversations about reopening. "I feel like since I wasn't left in the dark at the beginning, I've kind of been able to go on this journey of creating these procedures, of knowing them, and familiarizing myself with them," she says.

Pure Beauty Skin Bar works with clients to address hyperpigmentation and acne. When clients come in they have one-on-one contact with their acne specialists as they do skin consultations, create skin care routines and do treatments.

"I just wanted to give it a couple of weeks," Brownlee says. "I wanted to make sure I had everything that I could possibly need in stock. I didn't want to run out of anything like gloves or masks because that's important to have."

Clients can expect an empty sitting area when they arrive for their service. Brownlee says she spaced out appointments to limit client interactions and guarantee she has more time to disinfect.

She says she's taken several sanitation classes to ensure she's up-to-date on more aggressive cleaning techniques.

Both Spruce and Pure Beauty will ask clients to wear masks and to wash their hands before and after service.

Indiana's Wayne County Health Department Executive Director Christine Stinson says there is a risk when businesses reopen and agrees that patrons should wear gloves and a mask when possible.