Missoula Co. salons anxiously wait for health department decision on reopening

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Posted at 8:48 AM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 10:51:19-04

MISSOULA — Although Governor Bullock announced the phased reopening of Montana’s businesses starting Monday, if you live in Missoula County, body art and salon studios may still be off-limits.

For the Do Crew Salon in Missoula, all of the uncertainty has been a rollercoaster of emotion in recent weeks.

The governor did say that we could go back to work Monday, but according to what we’re understanding now, it’s up to the Missoula County Health Department to tell us when the actual date of opening is,” owner Paula Evans told MTN News.

So, let’s say salons can open come Monday. The Do Crew Salon says they still don’t know exactly what that will look like.

“I didn’t know if we would need extra PPE, how readily available that PPE would be, how long it would take to actually be ready to open,” esthetician Kasandra Richichi said.

So, for now, they’re preparing as much as they can despite the unknown. They say it’s a game of hurry up and wait.

“We are taking precautions by deep cleaning the salon, we are getting medical-grade masks and hand sanitizer ready, we are following all regulations that are coming into us,” said Evans.

They’ve also eliminated one of the entrances to the salon, they’ll only allow five clients in at a time, and they plan to check visitors’ temperatures too.

“I want to make sure that I’m safe, and that all my clients are safe,” said Richichi. “I would hate for us to open and have to shut back down.”

While some cosmetologists continue offering their services without regard to the regulations, the Do Crew is committed to bouncing back from this pandemic without bending the rules.

“There is one side that you wish you could make money through all of this, but the greed isn’t worth sacrificing your license and the health of your clients,” said Richichi.

In doing their part to support their fellow local businesses, the Do Crew will use all locally sourced PPE once they’re allowed to reopen.

According to Evans, who's a lifelong Missoulian, “I have never seen Missoula falter, we always get up and stand behind each other. We’re strong people and we’ll get through this."

Health and local officials are planning a news conference on Friday afternoon to release details about the first phase of reopening in Missoula County.

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