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Georgia Business Openings Cause Some Confusion

Social distancing is hard at businesses that require close interaction, such as hair salons.
Posted at 8:29 PM, Apr 24, 2020

Zoakenia Biah, owner, Salon Supreme: "In business, there's no fear"

In Georgia, businesses like beauty salons, gyms and massage studios are now officially open, including Salon Supreme.

Biah: "lf the client doesn't have a mask I will provide a mask for safety, and I will also wear a mask."

But Georgia's reopening has created some confusion and mixed messaging. 

Gov. Brian Kemp: "These are tough decisions, no doubt and I've had to make many of them, and I can promise you I will have to make more of them."

Gov. Brian Kemp's push to open his state has been criticized by the president, a backpedal from his initial support of the governor.

President Trump: "I wasn't happy with it, and I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp. ...  I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines."

Even though Georgia did not meet the White House benchmark of seeing downward trends in new cases, some business owners like Zoakenia Biah support the governor. 

Biah: "The mixed messaging made the governor feel uneasy and probably reluctant, but I'm glad he stuck to his guns and we were able to open today."

And while Georgia's still telling employers to keep workers at least 6 feet apart,social distancing is hard at businesses that require interactions like braiding a customer's hair. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH's infectious disease division, said the state's opening is too soon.

He said: "There is a danger of a rebound, going ahead and leapfrogging into phases where you should not be. I would advise him, as a health official and as a physician, not to do that."

There are currently 22,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. Despite that, theatres, social clubs and dine-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen Monday. 

All these reopenings contradict the governor's shelter in place order, which was supposed to expire at the end of this month. 

Biah: "I hope the governor stands strong and keeps the economy open."