Happy New (COVID) Year!
Here at Infinite Body Piercing, we’re as excited as everyone else to have finally put 2020 behind us. Even though we’re all still hunkering down at home, avoiding restaurants and any unnecessary travel, there seems to be a (faint) light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel that is this Coronavirus-induced shutdown. As we see news reports of the first wave of vaccinations, we’re making the first steps toward reintroducing some of our piercing services we haven’t offered since closing last March. Happy New (COVID) Year!
Infinite’s Philadelphia Studio Stays the Course
New Year’s is usually a special time in Philadelphia, being the home of the annual Mummer’s Day Parade. Even the mayor’s cancellation of the event earlier this year didn’t keep several hundred parade goers from taking to the streets to celebrate—or protest the cancellation of the event, depending on your point of view. As COVID continues to put people at risk in the city, most people are doing the right thing and staying home this year.
On November 20, Philadelphia’s most recent COVID-19 restrictions went into effect. In addition to again closing restaurants for indoor dining, indoor gatherings of any size, private or public, were once again prohibited, and retail stores were required to reduce the occupancy limits to a maximum of five people per 1000 square feet. Personal services (like us) were allowed to remain open, but it specified we must continue operating by appointment only and at 50% of our normal capacity. Additionally, any services that require customers to remove their mask are prohibited. As this order remains in effect our Philadelphia studio will continue with its current policies, and will not be offering any piercing services under masks including inserting and/or changing jewelry. Originally, these restrictions were to be observed until January 4, but on Tuesday, December 22, these restrictions were extended until at least January 15—and there is no reason to believe that they will not be extended again.
So when will we be offering under-mask services? In the Philadelphia studio, we have no idea. Meanwhile, in Baltimore….
Infinite’s Baltimore Studio Expands Its Piercing Services
Baltimore's most recent executive order, issued by new Mayor Brandon Scott, took effect on December 11. In addition to reintroducing prohibitions on restaurant dining and social gatherings, the restrictions on personal services are similar to the ones imposed in Philadelphia: we must operate by appointment only, and we must operate at no greater than 25% of our maximum capacity. It does not, however, specifically prohibit any particular services.
With this being the case, we are slowly expanding on some of our services that were suspended with the first shutdown. As we enter the new year, we are now taking appointments for nostril and septum piercing services at our Baltimore location. While we are once again offering nose piercings, we are still not offering any oral piercing services, so no piercings or jewelry changes in or around the mouth at this time, at either studio.
Clients who are coming in for under-the-mask services will be subject to the same protocol as all our other clients: masks must be worn at all times in our studios common areas, and may only be pulled down when instructed by the piercer, in the piercing rooms. Any jewelry sizing or troubleshooting where a mask must be pulled down will take place in the piercing rooms.
Why are we offering these services in Baltimore, but not in Philly? As of this writing, Philadelphia COVID restrictions still prohibit under-mask services, and Baltimore City does not have the same prohibition. Plus the Baltimore studio is a little slower-paced, has more space for social distancing, and is more easily ventilated. Lastly, and most importantly, we were waiting until we could more thoroughly assess the safety risks to our staff and clients in offering limited under-mask services.
Kids’ Ear Piercings are Back in Baltimore
Way back in June, when we originally reopened the Philadelphia studio, we had no idea what to expect with not only operating under new protocols inside the shop, but switching to appointment-only services as well. Since we were (and still are) strictly limiting the amount of clients in the studio, this means we are limiting clients to bringing friends with them in the piercing room for only genital and nipple piercings and limited piercings for minors. This made it difficult to accommodate younger children who often had two parents accompany them, so we temporarily suspended piercing services for clients younger than thirteen—and we are keeping this in place at the Philadelphia studio.
In Baltimore we have a less-congested studio and are more easily able to accommodate clients with parents in tow. Starting in the new year, we will be offering ear piercing services for kids 8 to 12 years old, by appointment, at our Baltimore studio only. The Philadelphia studio will still be offering limited piercing services to clients thirteen years of age and older. For a breakdown of what services we offer at what ages, check out our website page ID Info and Policies.
[Above, a happy ear-piercing client, Pre-COVID]
Everyone who has been glued to the news for updates on the changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic (like we have been) has seen that new information seems to come in a constant, never-ending stream. As things change, we will continue to post updates on any change to our services and policies through our site and social media—through Facebook and Instagram in particular. We continue to work to keep our staff and clients as safe as possible during these difficult times. For everyone else who continues to do most of their shopping from home, we are continuing to offer free shipping on domestic orders over $50 from our web store.
Stay safe everyone, and Happy New Year!