State orders allow some businesses to open, some remain shuttered

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PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The process of reopening businesses in Pennsylvania is moving forward.

Governor Wolf announced that certain businesses can begin to reopen starting this weekend and other can resume operations next week. However, there remains many questions as well as concerns about the reopening process from business owners across the commonwealth.

“I think it’s unfair,” said Wendy Cominsky owner of Au Salon. “Cosmetologists have extreme training in prevention of communicable diseases.”

Cominsky has been a cosmetologist for more than 30 years. She owns and operates Au Salon in Dallas Township. She does not understand why she and her colleagues are not permitted to reopen, even when their region enters the “yellow stage” COVID-19 status.

“We have a controlled environment. We can allow one customer in at a time or our stations have to be an “X” amount of feet apart from each other,” said Cominsky.

Dr. Rachel Levine, at a press briefing Saturday said, “well, we don’t want to treat anybody unfairly and we don’t feel they’re being treated unfairly.”

Levine, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health responding to a question from Eyewitness News during a COVID-19 pandemic update in the commonwealth. She insists it’s all about keeping people safe.

“We are dealing with an extremely contagious virus and dangerous global pandemic so care of the public safety takes a very measured approach in terms of the safety measures. Social distancing measures were implemented in the same approach and how they will be lifted,” Levine added.

“It was kind is a shell shot situation,” said Robert Bresnahan of RPBVentures and Kuharchik Construction.

That’s Bresnahan remembers the state’s order last month which shutdown contraction projects.

Now he and his employees are ready to get back to work on projects like renovating this downtown building on Main Street in Pittston. But it’s work that will be done with new guidelines to protect workers from COVID-19.

“Right here we have about 2,500 square feet behind us. According to the secretary’s new order we are only going to hire five construction workers to work in this entire space behind me,” Bresnahan said.

Other businesses we spoke with say they understand the need to stop the spread of COVID-19 but they that state officials underestimate their ability to keep their customers and themselves safe from the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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