“A day of hope” as Baton Rouge businesses reopen in phase one during pandemic


 BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) РIt has taken the state of Louisiana 73 days to get to a phase one reopening.

Caution tape on some machines and new sanitation guidelines are now a part of the workout routine for members of Spectrum gym.

“This is probably the cleanest place to be in in Baton Rouge with the efforts they have made to keep everything clean,” said Jonathan Kerney.

“We’re super excited, but also a little nervous at the same time,” said Greg Metzler, owner of Lux Salon.

The salon reopens Monday while they finalize mini-renovations to help with social distancing and the phase one 25% capacity requirement for reopening. This changes how Metzler has to do business.

Metzler added, “Typically a stylist will see ten people a day. Now they’re gonna get to be able to do three or four because we have a number of employees so we’re each doing a five hour shift.”

“We are excited,” said Michael Johnson, General Manager of Sears at Mall of Louisiana.

Sears will be the first store at the mall to reopen Saturday. Lines are on the floor to help keep social distancing, there’s hand sanitizer and due to the high demand of plexiglass, shower curtains are being used as sneeze guards at checkout areas.

Johnson added, “All our associates will be wearing masks. We encourage all our members and customers to wear masks.”

Without them, a strong warning from Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

“If we don’t practice these basic safety habits, we will see a new outbreak in our community and unfortunately, more deaths will occur and we will have to return to a stay at home order. None of us wants that,” said Broome.

All of the stores in the Mall of Louisiana are expected to reopen on Tuesday. Movie theaters aren’t expected to reopen until July.

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