DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Salons, barbershops, and restaurants in Durham are having to readjust their plans to reopen as the county will not be moving on to phase two of reopening along with the state of North Carolina.
After Governor Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday at 5 p.m. that salons could reopen on Friday at 5 p.m., salons all over the Bull City began booking appointments for this weekend.
But on Thursday, salons found out that Durham County would not be able to reopen until June 1st.
Durham mayor Steve Schewel said they have decided to keep the local stay-at-home order in place until June 1. This means restaurants, salons, barbershops, and swimming pools will remain closed until then.
Schewel said this decision comes as the number of COVID-19 cases have gone up in in the last week.
“The average number of cases in Durham over the last week have been higher than the state’s average,” Schewel said.
Schewel said the number of new COVID-19 cases per day in Durham County has been double what it was in the last couple of weeks.
“Having seen the spike in cases, it gives us a reason to pause and makes us a little bit cautious before we reopen businesses,” Schewel said.
Natalie Guillory owns Prinsesa Salon and Permanent Make-up Studio in Durham.
She said she started booking appointments on Wednesday after hearing the governor say that salons could reopen.
“I was just going to take whatever I could because I’ve been without income,” Guillory said.
But when she heard that she would not be able to reopen until June 1st, she had to turn around and cancel the 40 – 50 appointments she had booked.
“It hurts, I’ve gone two months with no income and I still have the bills I have to pay at home and then the bills we have to pay here at the salon,” Guillory said.
Kelly Johnson owns Blue Bamboo Hair Salon in Durham. She had to permanently close one of her locations in Durham due to the pandemic.
Johnson said she had also started booking appointments right after the governor’s announcement on Wednesday. She said that she wishes the mayor had announced his decision to not allow businesses to reopen around the same time the governor did.
“There was an 18-hour lapse, what do you do with that?” Johnson said.
Johnson said she then had to cancel on all of her clients, and she fears this will hurt her business even more.
“Now they’ve lost faith in my ability as an owner to navigate the waters,” Johnson said.
Schewel said he understands businesses are disappointed, but he said he has to protect the safety of the community as well.
“Our objective is to be able to safely open, and to stay open,” Schewel said. “I think this is going to give us the best chance to do that.”
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