Florida coronavirus: Pinellas County dog groomers among business that can re-open on Monday


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County’s Safer-At-Home order is set to expire on Monday and commissioners are now leaning on the governor’s order of phase one to re-open Florida.

That order left people with a lot of questions.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the guidance from Governor DeSantis is clear as mud Friday morning.

Leaving many business oweners wondering if they can open Connie Dexter who owns a dog grooming salon.

“I own Chip’s Clips along with my husband Matt,” said Dexter.

Her dog grooming business shut down 30 days ago after Pinellas County issued their Safer-At-Home order.

“Many clients were confused. Many couldn’t understand why we weren’t considered essential,” said Dexter.

So when Governor DeSantis announced his phase one of re-opening Florida he said restaurants and shops could open up again, but concert venues, gyms, bars, nightclubs, dance and yoga studios, hair and nail salons had to keep their doors shut.

But pet groomers weren’t mentioned leaving Dexter to reach out to 8 On Your Side.

“In the beginning, we were of course like what? What about us? Which I’m sure many other businesses felt the same way,” said Dexter. “Okay, restaurants and stores… There’s many people gathering in those places. Even if you are keeping them distant from our shop we don’t have people. We have dogs.”

On Friday morning Pinellas County commissioners met.

“The governor’s orders have been very difficult to interpret. We’ve had to apply some judgment to that,” said Barry Burton, administrator for Pinellas County.

After talking it out…

“The things that we’ve been hearing about multiple times a day, car washers, dog groomers, what’s the story on them,” asked Commissioner Pat Gerard.

The vote was unanimous. Starting Monday non-essential businesses like car washes and pet groomers can open again as long as they still follow social distancing guidelines.

“We’re happy. We’re ready to go. We’ve been preparing,” said Dexter.

In Pinellas County, the re-opening will follow what the governor set out except for the clarification on car washes and pet groomers able to open. Beaches and pools can open, and museums and libraries will as well operating under 25% capacity.

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