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Before you get a haircut next week, consider this

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

* NPR has a pretty comprehensive story online about evaluating risks of various activities

Getting a haircut: medium to high risk

A haircut involves “close contact and breathing that is extended for several minutes,” [Dr. Abraar Karan, a physician and public health researcher at Harvard Medical School] notes. “This is the primary mode of transmission that we know happens. And cloth masks certainly are not perfect for this.”

[Dr. Andrew Janowski, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Washington University in St. Louis] says this is one of the highest-risk scenarios on this list, because there’s no way to keep 6 feet from someone cutting your hair. “All it takes is [having] one asymptomatic but infected worker, and suddenly many customers are at high risk of infection,” he says.

What alters risk? [Dr. Emily Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine] believes the risk is not terribly high if both you and your haircutter wear masks and if COVID-19 is not very prevalent in your area. Look for a salon or barbershop that has (and enforces) policies to protect its employees, like wearing protective gear and sanitizing hands, she says: “By protecting their employees, they’re protecting you too.”

And make sure that your barber or stylist is all business, says Karan: “Stopping to chat at close distance like this is something we all love doing with our barbers normally. This is not the time for it.”

I’ll be asking my barber to get tested this week.

* Excerpt from the new state guidance for personal care businesses

i. Minimum guidelines

    1. Service provider should display signage at entry with face covering requirements, social distancing guidelines, and cleaning protocols, in multiple languages as needed
    2. Service provider should configure space to allow for at least 6-ft. of distance between customers
    3. Service provider employees should maintain social distance to the extent possible while performing services
    4. Service provider should remove shared items (e.g., magazines) from waiting areas and configure any seating to be 6-ft apart to allow for social distancing
    a. Any surfaces in waiting area (e.g., seats) touched by customers should be disinfected after use
    5. Service provider should eliminate service of all beverages
    6. Water fountains, except for touchless water bottle refill stations, should be made unavailable for use (e.g. turned off, covered, area blocked)
    a. If no touchless fountain is available, water may be served in sealed, single-use water bottles

ii. Encouraged best practices

    1. Display visual markers 6-ft. apart at customer queuepoints
    2. If practical, install impermeable barriers between work stations
    3. If practical, implement touchless transactions
    4. Reduce number of items on surfaces to allow for easier cleaning, including any retail items available for purchase
    5. Remove shared products (e.g., beauty testers) from displays and discourage handling of display items
    6. Make hand sanitizing products available for employee and customer use
    7. Where building management practices allow,increase air turnover rates in occupied spaces and increase outside make-up air to the maximum extent practical

i. Minimum guidelines

    1. Maximum of 50% of capacity OR 5 customers allowed per 1000 sq. ft. of usable space (see DCEO guidance)
    a. For salon suites, capacity limits should be applied within each suite
    2. Service provider employees should social distance from customers while not performing services
    3. Service provider should limit the occupancy of common areas/ break rooms to allow for social distancing of 6-ft or greater by removing/ decommissioning furniture or staggering break times; this guideline is not intended to diminish employees break time requirements

ii. Encouraged best practices

    1. If practical, alter hours of operation to adequately spread out customer traffic and allow for additional cleaning time
    2. Stagger shift start and end times to minimize congregation of employees during changeovers
    3. If practical, group employees in clusters and schedule groups on same shifts to reduce cross-team exposure


* By the way, here are all the activities in the story with their associated risks

A BYOB backyard gathering with one other household: low to medium risk

Eating indoors at a restaurant: medium to high risk

Attending a religious service indoors: high risk

Spending the day at a popular beach or pool: low risk

An outdoor celebration such as a wedding with more than 10 guests: medium to high risk

Using a public restroom: low to medium risk

Letting a friend use your bathroom: low risk

Going to a vacation house with another family: low risk

Staying at a hotel: low to medium risk

Getting a haircut: medium to high risk

Going shopping at a mall: risk varies

Going to a nightclub: high risk

Going camping: low risk

Exercising outdoors: low risk

Click here to see the reasoning behind these risk levels and what can be done to mitigate the risks.

* Related…

* Second stylist at same Missouri hair salon tests positive; nearly 140 exposed to coronavirus

* Great Clips customer who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 speaks out

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:17 pm:

    I’m digging this excuse for revisiting my college haircut. Holding out as long as possible.

  2. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    Also don’t forget many (if not all) State Offices, including the Capitol Complex, will be reopening on Monday with the entry to Phase 3. With social distancing, masks, and all. And all SOS facilities.

    I made sure I got tested at the old Walgreens on 9th and North Grand yesterday before we’re back in the Complex next Monday.

  3. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:23 pm:

    Dying for vanity is uniquely human…for one high thought.

  4. - May Soon Be Required - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:23 pm:

    Did I miss the Governor actually say that we will allow business and Government to reopen on a date certain??
    No Snark.

  5. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    I’m at SOS. Here’s Secretary White’s press release on Monday’s reopenings:

  6. - Bob Loblaw - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    The Great Clips customer’s remarks are so very frustrating. They blame the employee for being “irresponsible.” Lots of people don’t have a choice but to work so they can eat, and countless people don’t know they have the virus. That’s the whole point of shutting down

  7. - Fav human - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    My salon rescheduled me for mid June. And I’m going. Also need to bring a signed waiver..

  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:28 pm:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t feel even a little bit of sympathy for the guy complaining about being exposed at a great clips? He was the one who went there, nobody forced him. He disregarded the recommendations from experts.

    And what is he doing? Blaming everyone else.

    ===”All this because someone wasn’t responsible,” ===

    Yeah. You.

  9. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:41 pm:

    =They blame the employee for being “irresponsible.”=

    It cuts (no pun intended) both ways. Anyone that ventures out for a haircut under these circumstances is potentially putting themselves and others at risk. We have a virus that many carry and show no symptoms. It’s probable that somebody just got or gave a haircut, had symptoms and nobody knew. The point is when you’re in that kind of close proximity to another person you’re rolling the dice. And when you make that choice you’re putting yourself and the community at large at risk.

  10. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:42 pm:

    Another thing to consider when returning to work buildings closed due to COVID-19 since mid-March. Those same buildings could be at risk for Legionnaires’ Disease if the water systems aren’t checked and prepared properly.

    It was only two years ago (in the thick of the Quincy Veterans’ Home legionnaires’ disease crisis) that marginal amounts of legionella had been found in the Capitol Complex water system’s cooling tower:

  11. - Montrose - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    There goes my plan to re-open my religious night club.

  12. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:46 pm:

    After being out of stock for weeks Wahl Clippers are now slowly getting back in inventory at a few stores

  13. - JoanP - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    That Great Clips customer “never thought that it would be so close to home”. Oy. And he stayed there even after seeing that some stylists weren’t wearing masks. I’d have turned around and left right then and there. (Not that I’d have been there in the first place.)

  14. - Dee Lay - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    All those folks asking the state to reopen NOW are going to get a rude awakening when they realize their risk tolerance is way lower than expected after their first exposure scare.

    I’d like to see the venn diagram of people who haven’t had a personal experience with COVID and the people who are chomping at the bit to “get back to normal.”

  15. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===* Second stylist at same Missouri hair salon tests positive; nearly 140 exposed to coronavirus===

    We should assume that this isn’t going to be an isolated event.

    === And he stayed there even after seeing that some stylists weren’t wearing masks.===

    If only we had created some kind of group of public servants that could have used polite reminders, other social pressures, and perhaps even penalties to help carry out public health guidelines for everyone’s well being.

  16. - VerySmallRocks - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    “That Great Clips customer “never thought that it would be so close to home”.

    Classified under Famous Last Words for those ”regular folks/Real Americans” who think the virus only affects “those people”.

  17. - DownstateR - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    Haircut? 10 years. Meat? Rarely. Introvert? Yup. Generally, I’ve gotten off easy. I do feel for others, though. Not enough to lose my mind and refuse to wear a mask and socially distance.

    Hope all are doing well.

  18. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:18 pm:

    I think there is something to learn from the Great Clips incident. It’s my hope that those people are traced and tested over the next few days to see what the exposure risk really is. 5% infected, 25%, 50% - It would great to know what the transmission risk is when wearing a mask but still in close contact with someone.

    Hair cut on June 7. Haven’t since Feb 23. Told by stylist whatever you want me to do I will. I was very glad to hear that everyone will have to wear a mask and that goes for her too.

  19. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    1. Montrose - best laugh I’ve had all day.
    2. I’ve been cutting my own hair since college. My son started doing his own hair a few years ago. But now even my wife allows us to cut her hair. She’ll eventually go back to a professional but it’ll do in this pinch.

  20. - Streamwood Retiree - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    DMV - “Vehicle transactions”
    I have paid off my car and car received the Tite showing Lien and a Release of Lien letter. The letter says that I have to take it to the DMV to clear the title. Is this a “vehicle transaction”? Or do I have to wait two months before trading the car in?

  21. - Stu - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:45 pm:

    I hope this doesn’t get lost in the news cycles and that they will publish test results from the clients. This could be the canary in the coal mine for my decisions on getting a haircut next week…

  22. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    I’d comb the long hair on the back of my head over on top, but then I’d have to dye my face orange so I wouldn’t look ridiculous.

  23. - Rudy’s teeth - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    For all the folks experiencing trauma because they can’t get a haircut… ladies get a headband and for the guys…now’s your chance to be Willie Nelson. Look through old pictures and see those hairstyles that we thought were trendy. We will survive. Bucket hats for the win.

  24. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:17 pm:

    Buddy of mine, a fellow Army vet, has a set of clippers he used on deployments. Said he could do two cuts, short and shorter. I went with shorter and offered him a buck, same I paid for my first basic training clip. Think I’ll stick with him for a while before going back to a barbershop.

  25. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    Wahl Clippers are Manufactured and HQ’d in Sterling IL

  26. - Asst. Mgr. Strickland Propane - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:28 pm:

    The Secretary of State’s Office needs to start taking appointments to expedite the process and cut down on the number of people in waiting rooms. Michigan and a number of other states already offered this service before th pandemic.,4670,7-127–452672–,00.html

  27. - Huh? - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    Need a hair cut, starting to drive be crazy. Am leery of going to barber shop/salon. May hold out longer then buy clipper set. Sheba does like to run her fingers through my hair. Decisions, decisions.

  28. - Drake mallard - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    It’s a good thing they are allowing hair stylist back.
    75% of our nation’s blondes have been disappearing before our very eyes

  29. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==The Secretary of State’s Office needs to start taking appointments to expedite the process and cut down on the number of people in waiting rooms. ==

    I agree–that might not be a bad idea, at least for June and July. Why isn’t SEIU (the main SOS union–AFSCME doesn’t cover SOS employees) pushing hard for this?

  30. - yinn - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    I’m torn on allowing haircuts, medium-to-high risk as it is, versus “haircut tourism” that may multiply these risks. Get a load of this statistic from a phone conference hosted by Council on Foreign Relations’ State and Local Initiative last week (my emphasis):

    “[I]f you look at anti-lockdown sentiment and mobility associated with it—so, for example, protesters that have gone to state capitals to protest lockdowns, or groups of individuals that defy lockdowns to go to events, such as concerts, or church assemblies, or sports events, whatever they may be. It is striking the distances people have traveled to attend such events. In one study just measuring cellphone patterns, the average movement—and this would have been in Texas-Georgia area. The average movement was more than 150 miles. So for example, when Georgia opened up hair salons, people drove from Alabama and from Mississippi to Georgia to get a haircut.”

  31. - yinn - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    Whoops! Link to the above quote:

  32. - revvedup - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    My female hairstylist would love to be working, but I haven’t heard from her how she or the place she rents chair space from are setting up to start working again. I’m a guy, so seeing her in person would be cheering in itself, but I have to consider my risk factors as well. Not sure how she can cut my hair while I wear a mask, but I’m studying the question.

  33. - Captain Who - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    I maintain my own buzz cut. It’s one less thing to have to worry about.

  34. - mrp - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    Wahl clippers at home for the win.

  35. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    Are other state agencies whose employees have been sent home (some like me on work-at-home status) since Mar. 16 also returning to work on June 1?

    I checked the websites of the other constitutional officers (e.g., AG, Treasurer, Comptroller) and some of the Governor’s agencies which have public customers (e.g., IDPH, DHS). I didn’t see anything about their offices reopening and their employees reporting to work on Monday too. Rich, do you know anything about the opening status of other state offices on Monday–or is SOS an outlier?

    I have always heard June 1 as a tentative SOS reopening date since the extension of the latest stay-at-home order.

    For the record I am ready to get back to real work and in my office in the complex. But I’ve had other state workers (from the Governor’s agencies) tell me in the last few days (when I’ve said that I’m returning to work June 1) that they haven’t received the green light yet to return to work. Meaning they’re still not sure if they can return June 1.

  36. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:44 pm:

    Streamwood Retiree, when I paid my car off I filled out the paperwork online and then mailed it to SOS. It took a little longer than just going in with the forms, but it saved me a trip.

  37. - Crew cut caper - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    I’ve got thinning hair up top and have thought about a crew cut for a some time now. My pseudo-comb over was only going to get me so far. A couple weeks ago my 15 year old daughter said she was bored and asked if she could cut my hair. She was very surprised when I said yes. She cut it all off with my beard trimmer and made a good family memory of it. One of the best decisions I’ve made recently and now will likely never go back to the barber again. I’ll miss the town gossip but that’s ok.

  38. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    ==The Secretary of State’s Office needs to start taking appointments to expedite the process and cut down on the number of people in waiting rooms. ==

    According to the SJR, the SOS isn’t planning at this time to have customers make appointments to visit facilities:

    “At this time, though, there is no plan to require people to make appointments in order to control the number of people who may show up at one time.

    “We’re going to have the staff that are assigned to work with our customers as they arrive to ensure there is social distancing going on both inside the facility and outside,” Haupt said. “We are still strongly encouraging people to go online if it is a transaction they can do online.”

  39. - Chatham Resident - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 8:44 am:

    I also wish the safety guidelines for employees could also include an outright ban on them Smoking during any of their work hours (even while on break and lunch) at least until this health emergency passes, if not permanently.

    I had to go to the grocery store (which I will keep nameless) in the past week. One of the employees around where I checked out, I could tell that he had just gotten off his smoking break. He smelled as if he had swam in an ashtray. I almost gagged. And they are the people handling food and other items consumed/handled by humans.

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