Local business owners react to news gyms & salons can reopen in Orange Zones

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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Governor Cuomo announced Friday gyms, salons and other personal care services can reopen under the Orange Zone designation if they follow certain guidelines like capacity limitations and increased testing.

For the last three weeks, many businesses in Erie County were forced to close their doors after majority of the area moved into the Orange Zone. Now, Cuomo says new data shows fewer COVID-19 cases are coming from these industries.

Caroline Karanas of Fitness 19 says her gym’s staff has already began preparing to open once again.

“We have two forms, one of them is like a health assessment that everybody comes in and they actually physically fill out. It has a bunch of questions about their proximity to anyone who has COVID, their work day – all those things,” Karanas said. “Then the other thing we have is just a very archaic system of a white board that has 29 spots in it…everybody writes their name when they come in and they take it off when they leave, and it’s just that simple.”

Michael Biscotto owns Lion’s Mane Salon in Williamsville. He says it’s relieving to reopen during the busiest time of year, and that he walked in to nearly 30 voicemails on the business’ answering machine after the news broke.

“We missed the Thanksgiving rush, the early December rush. Fortunately we have 12, 10 days here to make up between now and Christmas – hopefully we can make up as much as we can.”

Reopening also applies to barbershops, tattoo parlors and nail salons.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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