Businesses reopen to eager customers, new norms as Kansas ‘Phase 1.5’ goes into effect

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OLATHE, Kan. — Reopening “Phase 1.5” kicked off in Kansas on Monday.

Some of the big changes included are that many personal services like nail, hair and tanning salons, along with tattoo shops and fitness centers are allowed to reopen.

Nail and hair salons in Johnson County were busy on the first day back. Some locally owned locations are booked solid, and chains are showing 2-3 hour wait times.

There’s nothing quite like walking into a salon, knowing you’ll come out feeling a whole lot different.  

“Getting your hair done is one thing that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, and that’s a great joy for a hairdresser to experience when you have those ‘aha’ moments to see faces light up,” said Kathleen Vaughn with The Hair Shop.

Vaughn owns two locations of The Hair Shop in Olathe. While she’s been in the business for years, coming in Monday morning definitely felt a little strange.

“We all probably had a little anxiety walking in the door today, but it’s so nice to see your clients.  They’re like our family,” said Vaughn.

As businesses reopen, there are new things you should be prepared for.

Vaughn has spent the past few weeks prepping for reopen, and all of her staff and clients are now wearing face masks.

“It’s very hot, and sometimes you feel like you can’t breath. It’s a big adjustment. But at the end of the day, we are saving people’s lives and that’s all that matters,” said client of The Hair Shop, Sydney O’Barto.

Cleaning at the salon is also increased between customers and by using a disinfectant machine overnight. There are new partitions up, and appointments are now required.

“It’s going to be a new norm. I think we’re all pretty strong, dedicated to the profession, and it’s going to be a great come back for us,” said Vaughn.

Gyms are back in business, too.

RoKC Climbing Gym & Fitness Center just opened its Olathe location one week before the stay home orders began.

“We’re really excited to be back open and welcome people into our doors and we also just want to make sure people are ready to come back, that they do it on their terms and that they’re comfortable,” said Andrew Potter, RoKC Climbing Gym owner.

That means lots more cleaning and encouraging social distancing.

While owners of the gym know not everyone might be ready to resume workouts just yet, they’re glad the space is available again to anyone who needs it for their personal wellness.

“It’s really important for people to be able to get back to the things that’ve helped shape them and so I think, even aside from a fitness perspective, it’s really important for people to just get out and do the things they love for their mental health,” Potter said.

As reopening in Kansas continues, group gatherings are still limited to 10 people. Community centers, organized sports and entertainment venues remain closed.

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