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Hair stylist in Norfolk decides to stop services after coronavirus spike in Hampton Roads

Andrea Rosenberg worked practically nonstop in Ghent when salons reopened. An increase in COVID-19 cases led her to decide to stop cutting and styling again.

NORFOLK, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam’s tighter restrictions for Hampton Roads are making some business owners think twice about day-to-day operations.

Hampton Roads hairstylists got cutting again back in May, during Phase 1.

"May 15, I was booked,” said hairstylist Andra Rosenberg. “I was ready to go. I worked for that two months, nonstop."

Andra Rosenberg is a stylist at Candy’s Cuts and More in Ghent. But, right now her chair sits empty.

"I told all of my guests if at any point I feel like you, me, or we are in danger and it's not safe, I will pull the brake,” Rosenberg said.

Candy’s Cuts and More remains open, but Rosenberg pulled the plug on her services when cases spiked in Hampton Roads.  

“At businesses and restaurants, it started going around the neighborhood,” Rosenberg said. “The numbers just kept going up, and these are restaurants following the protocols. That’s why we were comfortable going there."

She said all Candy's stylists strictly follow protocols. They deep clean and sanitize in-between every customer.

But she said it’s hard to physically distance in the profession.

"I can't give a haircut from six feet away,” Rosenberg said. “We touch people for a living, that is what we do."

Just like at Candy's, other salons in Ghent are sanitizing and re-sanitizing.

"We have people that literally, their job is to sanitize from top to bottom,” said Changes City Spa Manager Ashley Parker.

Parker said the business now closes two days a week to deep clean. She said customer and staff safety is number one.

"Our spa services, we are doing temperature checks on everybody and there is also a questionnaire,” Parker said.

She also said their lobby is closed. Guests wait outside for their turn in the chair to maximize physical distancing.

They also have custom made partitions in the nail salon, and at the front desk, to make sure customers and staff have their own safe space.

While Andra waits for cases to go down, she's back to selling gift cards. Every purchase comes with a free membership to her "Blow Dry Club."

The membership gives the customer two free shampoos and blow-drys a month. It’s good for the rest of 2020 when she starts services again.

"I said health before haircuts,” Rosenburg said. “People are already purchasing gift certificates for future appointments."

But rest a-sheared, Rosenberg has a reopening date in mind.

"I know that it is all of Hampton Roads, but I live here, I work here, people in the neighborhood get their hair cut here,” Rosenberg said. “So, you know, it just seems like better safe than sorry."

She hopes to get back to cuts and color by Labor Day.