What To Do If You Come In Contact With COVID-19
Proper sanitation and disinfection techniques have always been top of mind for nail technicians and salons, but as we continue efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to take a moment to check back in and re-share some helpful tips that will keep you safe should you come into contact with someone who has been exposed.
To help us, we reached back out to OPI Educator Lisa Kern who shared her advice on handling these sensitive conversations to ensure you effectively communicate with your clients.
Protecting yourself and your salon is the first step to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our Salon Reopening Guide and Sanitation Guidelines for Salons and Nail Professionals outline preventative and ongoing measures you can take to ensure a safe and healthy environment for both you and your clients, and also includes downloadable materials to display in your salon and other helpful guidance around prevention and sanitation.
Our Sanitation Guidelines detail the basics of sanitation, FAQs, and essential products for creating a clean and safe environment, like OPI Spa Complete, which is a one-step cleaner and disinfectant for hard surfaces, implements, and pedicure equipment. It’s our go-to and we highly encourage its use.
We are not health professionals so we look to experts for their advice when handling COVID-19 contact. Many suggest that if someone you know, or a client you recently worked with informs you of a confirmed or possible contact, it’s ideal to treat this as a confirmed positive contact until testing can be done. This would mean postponing or canceling any upcoming appointments, moving other personal obligations to be safe, and self-isolating as soon as possible.
Next, it’s important to have open dialogue about potential contact – transparency is key due to how impactful this virus can be to those with weakened immune systems. Another important step is ensuring that both staff members and clients are aware of who may be immunocompromised ahead of time, that way extra precautions can be taken.
If you are informed that a client has had contact in person, we suggest taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your clients. If you gain access to the information after an appointment, reach out to those who may be affected via email or phone immediately and share any information you have. We also suggest writing out talking points and thoughts ahead of time to help you better navigate this difficult conversation.
As always, if you, your team, or your clients aren’t feeling well, it’s best to move the appointment regardless. Lastly, be sure to check with your local government guidance and the Center for Disease Control for more information on possible exposure steps, and contact your health professional for proper medical advice if needed.
When we last checked in with Lisa Kern, OPI Global Top Artist, her salon had been up and running since stay-at-home orders had been lifted in South Carolina. If you haven’t checked out her reopening interview, read the blog here.
As part of the newly established guidelines The Aquarius Salon requires all clients to have their temperature checked before entering the building, and they are asked three questions:
- Have you or someone in your household traveled to a COVID-19 hot spot in the last 14 days?
- Have you had contact with anyone confirmed or suspected of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you or anyone in your home had in the last 14 days (or currently have) any of these symptoms: shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea?
Outside of The Aquarius Salon is a sanitation station which includes items like sanitizers and masks for client usage. Because South Carolina does not have a state-wide mask mandate -- clients are given the option to wear a mask, while salon pros executing the services offered are required to wear both a mask and gloves.
About 70% of clients at the salon opt to not wear a mask, which allows for COVID related conversations to start pretty fluidly. Her clients are most interested in talking about who they may know that has gotten it, and what symptoms they may have experienced, but they also tend to talk about how they don’t prefer to wear a mask in the first place. This allows Lisa to open up the dialogue about why she does wear a mask. Her statement around mask-wearing is typically more of a gentle reminder: “I wear a mask because I live with someone who is a high risk, so I go above and beyond to be sure I protect myself so that I don’t bring it home.”
Lisa and The Aquarius Salon have also done a great job of creating fun experiences around the idea that everyone is looking for a little escape from the real world and wishes they were traveling. They created a “Margaritas & Mani + Pedi” event where they served single-use cups of margaritas and played tropical-themed music and featured exotic smelling products. This helped her clients have a “getaway” while staying close to home. They also plan to create more events like this leading into the holiday season.
We hope you have continued safe and successful operations – stay in touch and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or advice @OPI_Professionals, head to our OPI Pro YouTube channel for inspiration, or visit us online to review OPI protocol or try out some new nail art techniques at www.opi.com/opi-professionals.
Our OPI Service Education courses provide a fun and interactive way to take classes in all of our professional systems. In our new Sanitation for COVID-19 course you can see outlined step-by-steps on proper sanitation techniques, learn about the various levels of sanitation and their effectiveness against germs and other pathogens, as well as best practices specific to salon environments.