Reopening? Know Your Numbers

by Michele Baker | May 18, 2020 | Bookmark +

For those of you that like a little data with your info, here is some really interesting information from salon owner Michele Baker in Georgia. Being one of the first states to open left the salon owners to scramble to learn a lot of things on their own and many have been generous in sharing things they have figured out to help make operating in the COVID world more systematic and understandable. I hope you find this as helpful as I have! - Holly

As many states are reopening their economies, how to be safe is at the forefront of owners, technicians and consumers. We are bombarded with all kinds of safety equipment and PPE requirements, rules, suggestions and guidelines. But do you know what’s really going on in your area? Each State has a Department of Health and right now they are responsible for tracking the current numbers of COVID-19 cases. While each state’s department might not report their numbers in the same way, the tracking items and numbers are pretty much the same. 

As of the writing of this article these are the current numbers for Georgia. These are overall numbers since the tracking began, the numbers are updated three times a day. The numbers are gathered from hospitals, testing sites, doctors offices etc. Georgia has approximately 10.6 million residents. We have 172 counties. We have metropolitan areas with dense population and many rural areas where the population is very spread out. This gives an overall picture that while each and every death is significant and important our numbers do not compare percentage-wise to other states with higher populations and more density. This is a county by county look at numbers since tracking began. The top five counties are the most densely populated counties and have the highest infected numbers and deaths. 

So where do I fit into this chart?  I live and work in Forsyth County, with a population of 252,507 residents. It’s shown in the middle of this chart. We have had 398 residents infected and 11 deaths since the tracking began. Compared to the more densely populated areas our numbers are very low. 

Every state's health departments are tracking these numbers. Use them to help you determine if it’s safe for you to open. Look at your population density, your county's cases of infections, testing numbers and deaths. Let them help guide your business choices. Go to your state's site and really look closely at the numbers and fit them into the demographics of your clients. Most states have breakdowns by race, ethnicity, age, and sex. If there are higher numbers in women ages 24-49 and that’s your client demographics keep that in mind when making your decisions. Seeing these numbers are not your only determining factor on when, and how to open however, they can help give you a better understanding of the risks for your specific area. As things open up and others stay closed it’s important to know what’s going on around you as people will travel from other places to get what they want. Look at your surrounding states, if their numbers are high and salons are not open you may want to consider only doing your regular clients to protect yourself and your clients until the surround areas numbers improve.

Tracking these numbers for your area is no guarantee but as owners and professionals we should be aware of then and how they relate to us being open and serving the public. To find yours search your state name and department of health. I look at our numbers twice a day to keep track of my area. Should ours begin to move up then I will be closing again to protect myself, my family and my clients. 



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