Charles County businesses anxious to reopen despite social-distancing measures

The Charles County Health Department has partnered with its Chamber of Commerce to prepare businesses for reopening next week – and now residents will be looking forward to haircuts at last.

County commissioners were receiving backlash and – yes – even death threats for their decision to keep county closed.

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But after following Governor Larry Hogan’s “Road to Recovery,” the county says it will take its first steps toward reopening on May 29.

The plan is called “Charles County Strong” – and it’s a plan to gradually reopen.

County commissioners say phase one, which will happen one from today, will include the soft opening of some non-essential businesses.

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But that reopening won’t include gyms – which aren’t slated to open until the final phase of the process.

Several gym owners in the county said they were either closed indefinitely, or open a bit providing online workout classes only. None of the gyms FOX 5 spoke with had a definite plan to reopen.

But beauty salons and barber shops like Ultimate Cuts in Waldorf will be able to open.

Anyone going to a barbershop or salon should expect the following:

- Face coverings

- Social distancing

- Limited seating

- Service by appointment only

Your barber or beautician must also wear face coverings, and use other protective equipment.

The shops must also enforce social-distancing measures.

Ultimate Cuts Barber Shop owner Cole Herndon says he’s planning to have barbers work at every other chair in order to provide enough space.

And if you want haircut, you’ll have to arrive on time, or wait in your vehicle until it’s time.

Because this is a partnership in Charles County, commissioners say they’ll make sure county businesses are safe by providing businesses access to personal protective equipment that is available for purchase from the county’s vendor list.

“We have a database and we can refer those businesses directly to those vendors that may actually have them,” said Charles County Commissioners President Reuben Collins.

“It’s big because I need them, they’re my stars. Without them, I don’t barbers don’t eat. I treat my clients and community as stars. I got to,” Herndon said.

Collins said they’re working on providing on-site care packages for businesses that include PPE and other materials.

All of the changes go into effect next Friday in Charles County.