Slowly reopening

By Jeff Shultz

Managing Editor

Businesses in Oklahoma and Garvin County began the slow process of reopening after Gov. Kevin Stitt announced his three-phase plan for the state to get back to work last week.

On Friday, April 24, personal care businesses were allowed to reopen, provided they follow some strict guidelines.

First, they can only serve customers by appointment, and they must have customers wait in their cars until it is time for their appointment. 

The personal care professional can then escort customers from their vehicle to the salon. Workers must wear a mask, and customers are requested to wear a mask as well.

Mary Nunley of Pauls Valley’s Hair Extravaganza said she and the other hair care professionals she works with are taking the required precautions seriously.

“We disinfect our chairs, equipment and the capes we use after each customer,” Nunley said, adding they also are careful to wear masks while treating each customer.

Nunley, who was interviewed by CNN on reopening for business, said she believes the stricter guidelines will most likely become standard procedures for hair salons.

Meanwhile, dining establishments can reopen beginning Friday, May 1, according to Stitt’s plan.

However, restaurants must adhere to CDC social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Such constraints are causing some eating establishments to keep their inside dining rooms closed and continue with curbside and takeout only service.

“As much as we would love to serve everyone, we do not believe social distancing will be attainable within our facility at this time,” said Melissa Baker, owner of Baker’s Pizza in Maysville.

Meanwhile, the City of Pauls Valley is making plans to reopen public facilities soon.

According to an email sent to Pauls Valley City Council members, City Manager James Frizell said city hall will reopen Monday, May 4.

The Donald W. Reynolds Recreation Center will also open on Monday, but on a limited basis.

“Hours of operation will be shortened through the week as we phase back into full operations,” Frizell said.

Because Gov. Stitt’s safer-at-home policy has been extended for those 65 and older, they will be asked to refrain from entering the rec center until at least June 1.

Frizell said the Bosa Pool will remain closed until further notice. 

“The aquatic center will not open on schedule, and we will re-evaluate every two weeks,” he added.

The Nora Sparks Warren Library will remain closed through the month of May, with an anticipated opening on June 1.

“It may be possible that we can open up the library on a limited basis beginning May 15,” he told the News Star.