Hamilton County businesses, city leaders prepare to reopen with restrictions under Stage 2

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — On Monday, restaurants and personal services will begin the process of reopening under “stage two” of getting Indiana back on track.

This is not how Drew Powell pictured opening his shop, Valor3 Barbers + Brews.

“I don’t know if I would recommend opening a barber shop during a pandemic,” said Powell.

The virus not only changed their opening date, as they were eyeing an opening just before the pandemic hit, but how their barbers would conduct business.

“Their temperatures are being checked before every shift throughout the day, face masks, they’ll be wearing gloves, they’ll be sanitizing everything throughout the day,” Powell explained.

Located in Fishers, Valor3 plans to open Monday by appointment only, following the stage two guidelines released by Governor Eric Holcomb. In the plan, restaurants will also open their doors to serve food at 50 percent capacity.

“I think the focus and emphasis has to be on, if we’re going to open up, what public health infrastructure are we going to implement alongside that? So for us, we believe testing is really, really critical,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness.

As part of the multi-prong recovery plan approach, Fishers is ramping up testing. According to Fadness, Fishers has completed 600-700 COVID-19 tests with another thousand scheduled. Starting on Tuesday morning, Fadness said that businesses can sign up to get their employees tested, as long as they cover the cost of the actual cost of the test. He added that city leaders will be monitoring any sort of outbreaks and testing results closely.

“We’ve had our public safety team out talking with the businesses that are anticipating to open, sharing with them best practices as well as actually providing them kind of PPE starter kits and really just trying to be there for them as they try to come up with best policies,” said Fadness.

The topic of safety is also top of mind for Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen.

“I know we have some restaurants that are ready to open up tomorrow, but I know there’s also some that are going to wait a few days to see how it all plays out,” said Jensen, “They want to open, but they want to make sure their patrons health and safety is priority number one.”

Noblesville’s downtown thrives on small business. It’s been a tough several weeks, but Jensen hopes by re-opening with proper safety measures, a bit of normalcy will follow.

“We’re going to have to take it day-by-day, and I keep reminding people that we are really in charge of our future here,” Jensen added.

For barbers like Powell that’s his hope, too.

“The whole reason we have a business is to serve the city, so we want to do everything we can to keep our customers safe,” said Powell.

It’s recommended that all customers, to both restaurants and hair salons, wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

For a more detailed what’s open and what remains closed, click here.

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