New York officials hope to re-open barber shops and hair salons in Phase 1 areas, such as the Rochester and Finger Lakes region, within approximately two weeks. During his daily pandemic briefing this weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo explained that the plan is tentative because of the up-close nature of the work: “That is an occupation of close proximity. You can’t really socially distance and do a haircut.”
An unidentified barber in Kingston already proved recently that these professions can lead to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. He defied the lockdown order and continued to give haircuts. After he was recently tested for the virus, the results came back positive, which means he possibly spread it to customers who also defied the lockdown order. The Ulster County Health Department is currently pleading with members of the public who received haircuts from this barber to come forward for testing.
Research made public this past week proves that social distancing works best when attempting to decrease infections and deaths. A new, peer-reviewed study published by Health Affairs revealed that there are approximately 35 times more cases of infection in places where people fail to social distance and stay at home because of a lack of lockdown orders.
Barbers and stylists in New York City and suburban regions will have to wait even longer to re-open their businesses. These areas haven’t yet received approval for Phase 1 re-opening.