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With the recent announcement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that barbershops and beauty salons could open today, Friday, May 8, the owners of Gainesville’s I Love Nails and Spa are taking a cautious approach.

The spa is going to hold off reopening for the time being and is targeting an opening date next week or the week after.

Owner Jeff Clancy said all the protocols are in place for a return to business.

“We are ready to open and we’re going above and beyond what the governor requires, but we chose not to reopen because we all have families and with the news about how there is a rise in cases and how the virus spreads, we decided as a business not to open for another week,” Clancy said.

“At this time, we feel like it’s too early to reopen. We think there could be asymptomatic people and that it could be jeopardizing not only our families but other families as well. A lot of times we err on the side of caution.”

Keeping everyone safe has always been a priority for the spa, as evidenced by the nearly 50,000 masks it has made and the 43 states and thousands of counties and cities it has sent them to.

“We feel like even though the state government is trying to open the economy, it’s not necessarily for the health, but it’s to get the economy going,” Clancy said. “Even though we may not have the virus as much here, we feel like there is going to be too much cross traffic and we think there will be more cases in Gainesville and Cooke County, especially with WinStar and people from Dallas and Denton.”

In the meantime, the spa is going to continue to make masks, even after completing the majority of its orders.

“We’re almost done with the list of masks that were requested, so that’s not the biggest concern right now,” Clancy said. “Even after we open, some of our family members are still going to make masks so we still have some. With the opening the economy, there will still be a need, so we’ll try to hit it from both sides. Even if everything reopens, everyone is going to need a mask.”

Clancy said when the spa does eventually reopen, there will a litany of steps taken to make sure its customers will be safe.

“We’ll have protocols that surpass government guidelines in every way,” Clancy said. “We are able to accommodate 10-15 people at a time. We’ll provide all of our customers our personal protection equipment and that includes specialized masks like they use in operating rooms. Our staff will be using masks, gloves and jackets that will protect from cross-contamination. We’ll also have a hand sanitizer station. We’ll require our customers to wash their hands before and after their service.”

While the spa has been closed for several weeks, Clancy said he and his workers can’t wait to get back to work.

Clancy and the spa are considering extending normal hours upon reopening. Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the spa is toying with the idea of being open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to satisfy the built-up number of customers.

With the spa operating at 50% capacity, it is aiming for 10 customers an hour, compared to the 200-plus it sees on a normal day.

“A lot of our customers have been waiting and here all of our customers are VIP,” Clancy said. “We’re going to try to do our best to do a few extra hours a day to accommodate all the people that are waiting.”

Clancy said the customers have been compassionate and sympathetic to the spa’s decision to hold off reopening.

“We posted on our Facebook after the governor’s announcement that we weren’t going to open on the 8th and a few thousand people responded and most of our customers are understanding of that,” Clancy said. “They pretty much agree with our game plan and we have a great group of customers. We have all of our ducks in a row, but it’s a matter of all of our safety coming first.”

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