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Latest Eau Claire County COVID-19 Rules Aimed at One-on-One Services

Tom Giffey

(Source: Unsplash)
(Source: Unsplash)

Acknowledging that some businesses simply can’t operate without getting up close and personal, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department release a new COVID-19 prevention order on Monday, May 18, that includes guidelines for one-on-one personal services.

The new document expands on and clarifies the health department’s previous order, which was issued May 14 – the day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide “Safer at Home” order.

“Our goal with this order continues to be on reducing risk.” –Lieske Giese, director, Eau Claire City-County Health Department

“Our goal with this order continues to be on reducing risk,” Lieske Giese, the health department director, said in a media briefing Monday. “With this disease we can’t eliminate risk, and we recognize that. This order is not business-specific focused, but risk-focused.”

The order doesn’t name particular kinds of businesses, but rather refers to “one-on-one personal services” – presumably including hair and nail salons, barbershops, and the like. For such businesses, the order enacts the following requirements:

  • The number of clients each provider comes into close contact with (“close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet) is limited to no more than 10 per day.
  • The number of clients in a facility is limited to provide each household unit 6 feet of physical distancing and 144 square feet of space.
  • There must be 6 feet of distance between each work station.
  • Full contact information (including full name, address, and phone number) should be obtained from all clients each provider has had contact with to assist if contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • All chairs, equipment, and tools must be sanitized between clients.
  • Clients must wear face coverings when feasible based on the service being performed.
  • Providers must wear a cloth face coverage at all times when in close contact, and the wearing of a face shield is recommended.
  • Appointments shall be scheduled in advance, with no walk-in service.
  • Waiting areas shouldn’t be open; clients instead should wait in cars or outdoors.
  • Staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home, and clients experiencing symptoms should be declined service and referred to their health care provider for testing.

“We want people to understand if they choose to get a one-on-one personal service that requires you to be closer than 6 feet that there’s risk both to that service provider and to the individual that is undertaking that service,” Giese said. The health department “strongly encourages” those at the highest danger for complications from COVID-19 to avoid one-on-one services, she added.

Under the new order, one-on-one businesses and all other businesses are asked to comply with other requirements as well, including restricting the number of workers on site, increasing standards of cleaning and disinfecting, encouraging physical distancing for customers waiting in line, and more. (The full order can be found here.)

As of Monday, there were 12,687 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide and 459 deaths. In Eau Claire County, the number of diagnosed cases stood at 76, an increase of 13 from the previous Friday. Meanwhile, nationwide the estimated death toll topped 90,000.