Time to get hair dressed and blessed
The phone has been ringing off the hook at hair salon, Colours of Creemore. Owner Jeri Brown-Clarke says pre-COVID, she would book appointments one or two weeks in advance. Right now, she is booked up for the next six weeks.
Brown-Clarke says clients are very excited to be getting back to the salon after a long shutdown. She is seeing a lot of “do-it-yourself” crazy COVID hair cuts and people who have used the long period of isolation to return to their natural hair colour.
Cleaning and disinfecting routines will not change much for Brown-Clarke under Ontario’s Step 3 reopening guidelines. Disinfecting tools between clients has always been her routine. She is the only stylist in her Creemore salon, so social distancing is easy. COVID protocols do mean that capes will have to be laundered after each client. Brown-Clarke says the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has been a tremendous resource, keeping her advised of changing guidelines throughout the pandemic.
Lorna May, Deacon of St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Creemore, says while members of the congregation are encouraged to see things returning to some sort of normalcy, they will not rush to return to in-person services. St. Luke’s began live streaming services together with Prince of Peace Church in Wasaga Beach at the start of the pandemic. They have since moved to weekly Zoom meetings to allow some interaction with the congregation. Attendance is traditionally a bit lower during the summer months, so May says they will stick with the virtual services until the fall. She notes members of the community have supported each other with phone calls throughout the pandemic, and are now very excited to be meeting outdoors for coffee.
Here’s what is allowed under Step 3 of Ontario’s Reopening Plan:
Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people
Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table provided there is physical distancing between tables
Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided up to 25 per cent capacity to a maximum of 250 people (whichever is less)
Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing
Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space, capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people (whichever is less), capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people (whichever is less)
Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less)
Essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres
Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres
Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors
Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less) up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less) and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less)
Provincial guidelines say masks and physical distancing are expected to remain the norm in indoor public settings until at least September. Masks will be required in some outdoor settings along with other public health measures to reduce transmission of the virus. As of July 13, the latest data from the Ontario Ministry of Health shows 79.38 per cent of adults in Ontario have received one dose of COVID vaccine; 57.21 per cent are fully vaccinated.