Huntsville 'close contact' businesses reopen under new guidelines

Two close contact businesses discuss how they adjusted to the state's guidelines for reopening.

Posted: May 11, 2020 9:10 PM
Updated: May 12, 2020 7:31 AM

Close contact businesses were allowed to reopen on Monday. However, the state has laid out guidelines. 

Carsten Templeton opened up Black Hearts Tattoo and Piercing about six years ago. He said he never imagined a pandemic would force him to shut down temporarily.

"There's not much we can do about it," Templeton said. "We just kinda packed up and made the best of it."

After months of an empty shop, Templeton heard the buzz of his tattoo pens once again on Monday.

"This week's pretty much filled up and people today ready to go," Templeton said.

However, he said things are different. You have to book an appointment. You are not allowed to bring a guest. Everyone has to wear a mask. If you do not have one, he said they will provide one.

"We treat everyone as if they have everything," Templeton said. "It's cleaning the same way whether you're dirty, you're clean, you know, whether you're sick or healthy, we go through the same precautions for everyone."

Over at Huntsville Massage Professionals, therapists are relieved. 

"The majority of our therapists, this is their only income," owner Kathy Johnson said. "They've all gone two months without any income."

Johnson said once she got the green-light to reopen, her phone started to ring with clients booking appointments. 

"But we're doing it very slow," Johnson said. "I had two clients today, that's all."

By spacing out appointments, she said that allows enough time to sanitize. The beds will be wrapped with disposable plastic cover. Customers and employees are required to wear masks.

She said people will have to wait outside for their appointment to begin. Temperatures will also be checked.

"Just doing everything that our state board has advised us," Johnson said. "That this is going to be our new normal, this is what we're going to have to be doing at least for the time being."

Both businesses said they have been able to keep the bills paid the past two months by selling gift cards. 

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