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Beauty service shops set to cease operation in Sarpy/Cass counties

Due to COVID-19 response order
Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 19:17:59-04

LA VISTA, Neb. (KMTV) — Style House, a barbershop in La Vista, is one of the many places that are being impacted by the new Directed Health Measure in Sarpy and Cass counties. On Monday, it stayed busy as people booked last-minute appointments before it’s forced to cease operations.

The impacts of COVID-19 have reached the hair and beauty industry in Sarpy County. The barbershop will cease operations, starting Tuesday.

"It's gonna kill us, especially the people that rent from me. They can't make any money,” says Style House Owner Mike Branigan.

Branigan has owned the shop for more than 40 years. He says his shop was already taking steps to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

"We've been spacing our appointments farther apart. We're wiping down the chairs between customers, of course washing our hands but these are guidelines we adhere to anyway," Branigan says.

While the measure isn’t directly forcing his barbershop to close, it specifically bars the service because those providing the service, like a haircut, cannot maintain the safe six-foot social distance while working on a customer.

"I think we're far more sanitary than your convenience stores and your gas stations. I can go to one of the grocery stores and there could be 100 people in there. At least I know my customers,” Branigan says.

But with 15 cases now reported between Sarpy and Cass counties, Health Director Sarah Schramm says additional steps are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19

"Of those 15 cases, we do have 5 cases of community-acquired illness, so we do know that COVID-19 is in our community,” Schramm said at a Monday press briefing.

Branigan says the month-long closure will hurt his business.

"I can hang in there for a month or two you know...but after that, I don't know what's going to happen,” Branigan says.

Beauty and nail salons, as well as massage therapy shops and tattoo parlors, will have to cease operations due to the Directed Health Measure.