Up close and personal: Experts stress cleanliness for service providers during virus outbreak

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Doctors have told the public to keep their distance from each other during this ongoing health crisis.

But the nature of some professions requires a close, personal relationship with customers.

Health care professionals recommend a heavy emphasis on cleanliness for people who depend on their hands and working close to their customers’ faces. 

Travis Crall, who operates Silver Screen Salon in the Crossroads District, employs hairstylists who have to get their own faces and hands close to clients for haircuts and color treatments.

“We’ve been letting our clients know that if you are sick and you don’t feel well, stay home. It’s not that big a deal. We can get you when you feel better,” Crall said.

Crall’s employees are following the same guidelines, and they’re putting an emphasis on keeping the shop clean. On Friday morning, salon staff members were busy wiping down stylists chairs and making sure their own hands were sterile.

“Sanitation is a huge part of our daily operation anyway. This is kind of standard practice for us,” Crall said.

In dentist’s offices, where hands are often inside patients’ mouths, Dr. Bill Busch and his hygienists at North Kansas City Dental use fresh rubber gloves and hand sanitizers to ensure they’re safe, and their clients are too.

“Patients are talking about it. They want to be sure we’re practicing safe infection control. I’ve assured them we are and they can be comfortable,” Dr. Busch said.

Both businesses are following recommendations from the Jackson County Health Department and encouraging customers and employees to remain home if they’re not feeling well.

Busch said many of his office’s practices were already in place before this health crisis began. He said dentists make it a priority to wash hands and to prevent infections from hitting staff and patients

“We treat this place like a hospital as far as sterilization and keeping things clean and bacterial and viral free,” Busch said.

Those steps are part of a larger effort to wash the coronavirus out of business.

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