COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update
10th March 2020 Grace King

Be safe, keep your clients safe

As you will all be aware, the current situation with COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus) is escalating, nobody knows how this epidemic will turn out.

Whatever the end result might be, or your opinion on the matter is, it is important right now that you follow appropriate procedures to ensure your own safety, the safety of your clients and to instil confidence in customers that MR. Barbers is the best place in every town to get their hair cut, not just because of the cut, but also because of how professional they are as a business.

England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer has said the vast majority of people who have been diagnosed are pretty well but may feel a bit rough for a few days and new statistics have revealed that almost half of those who have tested positive in Italy show no or minimal symptoms.

Whilst there is no need to panic, the start of the UK peak of the epidemic is expected within the next 10 to 14 days so it is vital that we all observe the following procedures immediately.

Spotting the symptoms

Most people who become infected with COVID-19 experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.

What are the symptoms:

  • A cough
  • High temperature
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms do NOT mean that you necessarily have the illness. They are very similar to other common winter illnesses such as a cold or the flu. If you are worried about yourself the NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Use this service if you think you might have coronavirus, if in the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.

Preventative Measures

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure you dispose of the used tissue into a bin immediately.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular cleaning spray or wipes.

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and stay at home if you feel unwell.

What can you do in your shop? 

When you set up in the morning ensure your work area is clean.

Try and keep your work areas clean and tidy at all times to maintain a professional image. This will reassure customers and help to minimise the risk of cross infection.

First, clean areas such as work surfaces, storage trollies, barber chairs and display shelving with hot soapy water to remove dust, debris and fallen hair, before disinfecting with appropriate products. Use antibacterial wipes or spray on any surface that you or your customer will come into contact with.

In-between cuts use antibacterial wipes or spray on any surface that the client may have come into contact with. Not only will this kill any germs, it also gives your next customer the peace of mind that you are taking every precaution possible. Ensure all hair is swept away and properly disposed of in the bin before seating your next client.

Clean and disinfect your tools after every single cut to prevent cross-contamination between clients. Use Barbicide, Clippercide, sterile wipes, a UV lamp or an autoclave to clean your equipment. Disinfecting your tools will kill most bacteria. Be very visible when you clean your equipment, again to reassure your next client that the equipment you are going to be using on them is totally sterile.

With the current state of panic in the community it is really important to adhere to these processes. You will find it not only protects you and your clients, but it also gives total confidence to any customer that you have their best interest at heart

When washing the shop towels ensure they are washed at a temperature of between 60 – 95 degrees to kill germs.

To prevent cross contamination, do not use single use items on more than one client and always dispose of them correctly.

These include:

  • Disposable razor blades
  • Tissues and neck strips
  • Cotton wool
  • Wipes
  • Spatulas
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable Towels

Always wear gloves where possible, particularly when shaving. Gloves protect both barber and client from possible contamination of blood borne diseases which may occur, for example, through cuts when shaving.

Ensure your hands and nails are clean and wash your hands regularly between services.

If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your shop manager or get in touch with Paul@mrbarbers.co.uk