Why some stores are waiting to reopen their doors

Published: Apr. 26, 2020 at 10:34 PM AKDT
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Many businesses will be

Monday as part of phase one of the reopening of Anchorage, but some businesses are choosing to delay their opening to better meet regulations and keep their customers safe.

“Our biggest challenge is going to be to make sure that we’re keeping the places as sterile as possible and as clean as possible,” said Sarah Smith, hairstylist and owner of Darjons Hair Design in Eagle River.

Smith has decided to wait until May 4 to open her business. Cleaning, getting proper equipment, and coming up with a plan all take time, and Smith’s isn’t the only business taking a bit more to prepare.

“We’ll be open to retail,” said Jill Williams, owner of The Look, and the Hole Look, a retail store and body art studio in Midtown. “To actually get a piercing or a tattoo, you’re going to have to wait maybe just a day or two, or three, until we get more masks and more safety features set up.”

Gloves and masks are part of the equipment

for employees in the personal care industry, but Smith said that getting those items is a bit difficult right now.

“There’s places in town that are selling them, but you may only be able to get one box,” she said. “And that’s if they’re not already sold out.”

When personal care businesses like Darjons and the Hole Look do open up, customers won’t be able to just walk in. Appointments are a requirement, as are a prior health screening before coming through the doors.

“They’ll have to call in and I’ll go through a small questionaire to check and see if they have any of the risk factors or symptoms for COVID-19 while they’re out in the parking lot,” said Trish Gilliland, lead counter-worker at the Hole Look.

Customers will also be required to wear at least a cloth mask. Gilliland says they have a stock in case a customer doesn’t, but they will still be required. Customers should also expect a bit more of a wait.

“That’s a matter of taking extra time in between clients to make sure everything is clean,” Smith said.

At least 15 minutes of cleaning is required by the mandates, as is sanitizing common contact points.

“As far as taking care of people, as long as everyone’s patient, we’re going to get it done,” Gilliland said.

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