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Back in business

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Salons, restaurants are able to serve customers once again


Alan Dale

Cedar County News

HARTINGTON — The state began the process Monday of trying to reignite the economy in adult-sized morsels.

That meant that Cedar County restaurants, hair salons and barber shops were able to reopen their operations after six weeks in shut down mode.

In Style’s Dawn Noecker and Cheri Morten and Textures Hair Salon’s Lynde Goeden  were ready to go Monday, and also definitely willing to follow all health protocols expected during the COVID-19 pandemic that has strangled the planet.

As of Monday, over 69,000 Americans had died of the virus in just over two months and almost 1.2 million cases had been reported in the country alone.

Noecker, who owns In Style, is enthused about the opening.

“I am only going to take one client at a time and disinfect everything in between and I will be wearing a mask,” Noecker said. “I encourage my customers to wear masks, as well. I feel like I can take all the precautions here and still be able to work and abide by the rules.”

She also noted she is happy to be able to get back to work. 

Part of the concern is, if she doesn’t open, her competitors could and that would potentially put In Style behind the eight ball.

“Both my husband and I are self-employed, so we depend on both of each other’s income to pay the bills,” Noecker said. “I was anxious to get back: I love my job, but more so than anything I need the money to be able to survive.

“If I don’t open and the other salons open and I am not there, the customers could go somewhere else and then not come back.”

Morten said she feels safe within her confines during the re-open.

“As long as we follow the protocol for the new sanitation rules and wear our masks, I don’t see a problem,” Morten said. “I am feeling that it is OK at this time. I don’t think it’s going to make a difference a week from now or two weeks from now — we would be in the same situation really.

Getting a hair cut is important to people.

“It’s probably a luxury to some people, but I think for some people, they need help with their hair and that’s what we are there for… It’s more fun to go to the movie than watch one at home. It’s just a preference,” Morten said.

As for Goeden, it’s about getting back to work.

“It won’t be such a heavy schedule,” she said. “I will make sure that we can clean properly and get things sanitized so people don’t have to be in contact with each other that much. I work alone so it’s not like I ever have more than four people in there at a time.”

Goeden can’t foresee a customer bringing in a bunch of kids in her salon which has plenty of room to honor social distancing.

“It will be fine,” she said.

Also, she worries less about the need to open from the competitive angle, noting that Hartington’s stylists are a team in their own right and the customers need to do their part. Goeden said she won’t hesitate to ask a customer to leave if they exhibit the gamut of COVID-19 symptoms.

“I’ll be wearing a mask. They’ll be wearing a mask and we will follow all the precautions. I sure hope everything we have been doing will keep the cases down and we won’t get hit as bad or see it as much,” she said. “We have to start somewhere and trust that people are smart about things and go from there, and hope for the best. I’d be friendly about it and ask them to leave (if they showed symptoms).”