Some Durham business owners disappointed by city’s decision to delay Phase 2 of reopening

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Not all businesses are getting to reopen when North Carolina moves int Phase Two of reopening on Friday.

In Durham, Mayor Steve Schewel told CBS 17 on Thursday that the city is taking a more cautious approach to getting back on track.

Schewel said restaurants, salons, barbershops, and swimming pools will not be allowed to reopen until June 1.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in NC

Khedron Mims owns Rivals Barber Shop on Mangum Street in downtown Durham.

Mims had planned to reopen his barbershop on Saturday. He was disappointed to hear that some Durham businesses will have to wait a little longer.

“We were very hopeful and excited, but now we’re just having to push things back a little bit more,” Mims said.

Mims said that opening up on May 23 would have helped his business. He said they have taken a massive hit during this pandemic.

“It would have benefited us a lot, because we are a family here,” Mims said. “We have other barbers that this is their livelihood and their job. They have to feed their families too, so they’ve got to get back to work as well.”

Schewel said more details about amendments to the stay-at-home order will be released on Friday.

According to the state’s order for Phase Two, other businesses that will not be able to open on Friday at 5 p.m. include bars and gyms.

Stephanie Drew owns Burn Boot Camp North Durham on Hillsborough Road. She said they had planned to open on Tuesday.

However, she was shocked to find out that state officials had taken gyms out of the state’s Phase Two plan. They will now have to wait at least five weeks to reopen.

“We were blindsided, honestly,” Drew said.

Drew said they had ordered face coverings for their members, tons of bacterial wipes, and they had sectioned off the gym for social distancing.

She said her business has taken a huge financial hit from this pandemic. Drew said she is concerned about how she will be able to pay rent over the next five weeks.

“I’m still paying for a very empty building, and the thought that this could go on for another five weeks, there’s a lot of things going on in my brain,” Drew said. “Enough is enough. We’re ready to get back into the gyms and safely manage this.”

Gov. Roy Cooper told CBS 17 on Thursday that because of an increase in COVID-19 cases, the state decided to take some businesses out of the Phase Two reopening plan.

“Because the numbers don’t look as good as we want them to look, we didn’t do everything we had anticipated in Phase Two, and I think some of those are more high-risk,” Cooper said.

A spokesperson from the governor’s office also said that the spread of COVID-19 can be significant in indoor spaces where people share or are touching the same equipment and are close to one another. They said the spread can be greater at gyms where people are breathing harder and typically not wearing face coverings.

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