Guidance For Personal Services in the City of St. Louis

Guidelines for personal services operating protocols in the City of St. Louis

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Guidance for Personal Services in the City of St. Louis PDF

See also:

Health Commissioner's Order No. 8

These guidelines are intended to apply to “close contact personal services” which include, but are not limited to: hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, esthetician services, cosmetologist services, body art professionals, pet-groomers and pet-grooming facilities, pet-handlers and pet-transporters, pet-training services, tailors and dry cleaners, sun-tanning services, and massage therapists. Substantially similar occupations and businesses may also utilize these guidelines as appropriate.

These guidelines do not replace or supersede any requirements applicable to your business or licensed employees pursuant to law or regulation. Rather, these guidelines are intended as a supplement and assist with safely reopening and providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the nature of close contact personal services, an abundance of caution should be exercised to mitigate or prevent exposure to illnesses spread by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19). Persons who are more vulnerable or at-risk for said illnesses as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — including those who are over the age of 60 or those who have severe underlying medical conditions — should take extra precaution or refrain from using close contact personal services during the initial phase of re-opening.

In most cases, these guidelines are derived directly from the CDC. Guidelines should be tailored to fit your specific business in order to keep your employees and customers safe.

Please contact the St. Louis City Health Department or the St. Louis County Department of Public Health for questions regarding the Personal Services Guidelines.


  • Upon arrival at work, employees must be masked, and employers must conduct health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of employees at the start of each shift. Conduct health checks safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide.
    • Screening should include 1) a temperature check if it can be performed with a touchless thermometer, 2) asking about the presence of cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle ache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell and 3) asking if the employee has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, new or worsened cough, trouble breathing, new or worsening body aches, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
    • Employees with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, or who answer yes to any of the screening questions must not be allowed to enter the workplace. Employees who develop any symptoms of respiratory illness while at work must immediately be sent home.Employees with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance.
    • Employees who are sent home with symptoms should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation or they have been cleared to return by their healthcare provider.
  • If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, work with local health agencies to ensure all employees and customers who can be identified as having had close contact while the employee was infectious are contacted.While awaiting formal investigation, compile a list of employees, customers, or other people known to be in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19.Employees identified as having close contact should be immediately sent home or told not to come into work until the investigation has been conducted.
  • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms

The Workplace & Best Business Practices

  • Employees who enter the workspace should place all personal items in designated areas to prevent contamination. Personal items such as outerwear should be stored in a locker or other designated area. Provide sanitizing wipes to wipe down personal items (cell phones, laptops, etc.). Employees should not touch their cell phones or other personal items during work. If they do, they should stop and wash their hands. Reusable bottles/cups should stay in the personal items area, single use cups are suggested.
  • Consider staggered work shifts for employees if unable to maintain 6 feet of separation between all employees and customers.
  • Technology should be used to minimize contact between employees and customers. Contactless payment systems, automated ordering systems, mobile ordering apps, website updates, and texts can help businesses communicate and conduct business with reduced need for close contact.
  • Post signage at business entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is to be permitted. Arrange waiting areas to prevent guests from congregating. Remove “unnecessary items” from the premises, such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, paper products, snacks, and beverages. Avoid using food and beverage offerings brought in by customers.
  • Where applicable, serve only customers who make appointments and have customers wait in their cars or outside until it is time for them to be served. If possible, customers should be contacted beforehand and asked whether they are showing COVID-19 symptoms and to educate them on COVID-19 business policies and procedures. To protect employees and other customers, customers must wear face coverings. Only allow essential non-customer companions to accompany customers during service. Essential companions should be directed to wait in designated areas.
  • Employer must provide face coverings, or supplies to make them, for all employees.
  • Employees must wear face coverings while they are at work unless they are working alone in an enclosed area.For employees where face-to-face contact for prolonged periods is unavoidable (e.g. nail care) and no barrier is present between the employee and client, isolation (surgical) face masks should be provided to the employee and worn during such interactions.Face shields could be considered in this circumstance as well.
  • Employees must wash hands or use hand sanitizer between clients. Ask clients to wash hands/use hand sanitizer before receiving services. If meticulous and frequent handwashing is not feasible or appropriate, employees may wear gloves. Change gloves when changing tasks or as frequent as possible. Make hand sanitizer readily available to guests. Consider touchless hand sanitizing solutions. Do not allow self-serve food, beverages, or products (e.g., “testers”); limit customer contact with retail products before purchase. Consider signage that discourages retail touching unless a customer is interested in purchasing an item.
  • For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Otherwise, a face covering must be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or facedown.
  • Limit the number of occupants in a workspace and keep everyone at least six feet apart except when necessary for a provider to give a client such services as a haircut or massage. This can include floor markings on floor or sidewalks and signage on walls to ensure customers remain at least six feet apart. Update floor plans and redesigning arrangements to ensure at least six feet of separation between workspaces. Where six feet of separation is not possible, consider constructing physical barriers such as partitions or Plexiglass barriers at workstations, registers or community workspaces, and increase the frequency of surface cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Between appointments, clean and sanitize used areas, tabletops, and common touch areas. Utilize single-use or disposable items when possible, then discard after use.
  • Provide contactless payment options whenever possible. Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or card payments by placing on a tray or on the counter rather than by hand. Sanitize all financial transaction equipment after each use. If possible, institute pay ahead options.
  • If utilizing drop-off and pick-up services, maintain physical distance requirements.
  • Co-workers should avoid congregating during breaks.Limit the number of employees in shared spaces, including kitchens, break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance between people. Check restrooms regularly and clean and sanitize them based on frequency of use.
  • Consider an exit from the facility separate from the entrance.

Cleaning & Sanitizing Procedures

  • Dedicate a team member to oversee heightened sanitization efforts.
  • Before re-opening, thoroughly detail-clean and sanitize entire facility, especially if it has been closed. Before and/or after business hours, clean and sanitize high-contact areas that would be touched by both employees and guests.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, door handles, workstations, cash registers) at least twice daily and shared objects between use. Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
  • If an employee or customer tests positive for COVID-19, close off all areas recently used by that employee or customer and do not reuse until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
  • Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans. Train all employees on the importance of maintaining 6 feet distance,frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, and give them clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face. Post signage for employees and customers outlining good hygiene and safety measures.
  • Provide breaks for employees to wash hands.
  • Remember to “disinfect the disinfectants.” For example, clean broom handles, spray bottles, and other cleaning vessels.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash and wash hands afterwards.
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, other methods. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to employees, children, or customers. Check with Fire Department before implementing this action.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use. If used, clean and disinfect frequently per normal operating procedures.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.

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