As Philadelphia celebrated its contribution to the results of the recent election, many of us started to feel an optimism we haven’t realized just how much we’ve missed. This optimism was unfortunately short-lived, as we’ve seen many states and cities re-institute business restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Now, most of us are back to weighing the risks of seeing our family for the holidays vs. the prospect of spending yet more time isolated and quarantined in our houses. Choosing between staying home another day and the mental self-care that comes with going out into the world and interacting with others, and maybe even braving the outside to get a new haircut—or even a piercing. As we struggle with the same challenges here at Infinite, we are sharing our most recent COVID-19 update.
Since coming back to work, we have worked to balance the safety of our staff and clients with our ability to stay open. To offer our same level of services, but with minimal risks to not only our health and the health of our clients, but our loved ones at home as well.
When we opened back up at the Philadelphia location at the end of June, Philadelphia reopening guidelines prohibited us from doing any procedures under masks. This included not only piercings, but jewelry changes for all nose and septum piercings in addition to all oral piercings. When we opened our Baltimore location the following month, in the absence of similar guidelines in Baltimore City, we decided to follow the Philly protocol. Since then, the number-one question we’ve been asked at both studios has been, “When are you going to be offering piercing services under masks?” and our response has always been, “We just don’t know.” Unfortunately, we still don’t.
One month ago, on October 20, the City of Philadelphia updated their guidelines for reopening personal services, allowing services to be performed under masks as long as certain protocols are being followed. This prompted a larger discussion at the studio: Do we open up our services to provide piercings under masks? What does this mean for the safety of our staff? Of our clients? Do we really want to loosen our in-studio restrictions when everywhere is seeing a spike of coronavirus cases, as part of the anticipated second wave, with the arrival of colder weather?
In the end, all this discussion came to naught, as on Monday, November 16, Philadelphia announced a new set of restrictions, rolling back to many prohibitions that were included in the past shutdown.
Philadelphia’s updated restrictions go into effect today, November 20, and last through the first of January. In addition to again closing restaurants for indoor dining, indoor gatherings of any size, private or public, are once again prohibited, and retail stores must reduce the occupancy limits to a maximum of 5 people per 1000 square feet. Personal services are allowed to remain open but must continue operating by appointment only and at 50% capacity. Additionally, services that require customers to remove their mask may not be performed. This means that our Philadelphia studio will continue with its current policy. We will not be offering any piercing services under masks including inserting and/or changing jewelry, at least for now.
New rollbacks have been announced statewide from Governor Hogan, in addition to updated guidelines for Baltimore City in the form of an executive order from Mayor Jack Young. While new rules on personal services do not specifically prohibit under-mask services at this time, the City has seen the same drastic increase in cases that Philadelphia has, so we are following Philadelphia guidelines. This means we are not currently offering any under-the-mask services at our Baltimore location either, at least for now. We are still operating by appointment-only, but often have same-day appointments available.
At both studios, we will continue the same way that we have since reopening this past summer: Clients will be greeted at the door by staff, who will guide them through getting set up for piercings (or even shopping our jewelry selection). Masks will continue to be required to be worn at all times while in the studios, and we will still be limiting the number of clients let in at one time. We will still be engaging in an aggressive cleaning regimen (even more so than normal) to keep surfaces disinfected and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for everyone. We will also continue to operate by appointment-only at both studios. See our appointment page for more details about which services are currently being offered, as well as everything you need to know to be prepared before coming in.
For all clients who are shopping from home, we will continue to offer free domestic shipping on all orders over $50 from our online store for the duration of the pandemic—and who knows how long that will be.
A big thanks to all of our clients for their patience and support while we navigate through these crazy times. When we reopened, we had no idea what to expect. Videos of angry anti-mask zealots were (and still are) going viral online, but our clients have been overwhelmingly understanding as we work through our protocol to keep up with the crazy world. On our end, we will continue to be as transparent as possible with what we’re doing, and will announce any changes to our services both on our web page and through our social media accounts.
For now, we’re committed to keeping everyone as safe as we can, so you don’t have to choose between your safety and getting a new piercing. In these uncertain times it’s reassuring to know that maybe, just maybe, you can have both.