SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While the mask debate rages on in much of South Dakota, a statewide business has proven over the last six months that masks, used in addition with other CDC recommended practices, work to keep COVID-19 at bay. In this edition of “COVID-19 Beyond the Numbers, we’re taking you to a personal service business that is keeping both employees and customers healthy.

Like most businesses of its kind, A Perfect 10 Nail and Beauty Bar salons in South Dakota shut down for five weeks last spring. However, when the owner of the seven locations in the state reopened last May, she instilled rules for her employees and customers and stuck to them. Now six months later, the results show that following all CDC guidelines works.

When it comes to getting a manicure, social distancing between stylist and customer isn’t possible. That’s why A Perfect Nail and Beauty Bar requires all customers and employees to wear a mask at all times.

“You know in the beginning it was kind of tough, but now I’m used to it so it’s my new normal,” Manicurist Emily Lessard said.

Kennecke Do you feel like you’ve lost any customers or had any push back because of the mask requirement?
Canada Salter: We’ve had very little push back, we’ve actually had more gratitude. I have received more emails from customers thanking me for enforcing that because we service a lot of medical professionals and elderly people.

The business has taken more steps other than only requiring masks, including spacing customers six feet apart and disinfecting between clients and regularly throughout the day. Plus it insists customers follow one other simple rule.

“Mandatory, every single person, no matter what service you’re getting, even if you’re getting a pedicure, you still have to wash your hands, because you’re still touching things. You’re touching the door, you’re touching the door, your touching polish,” Salter said.

A Perfect 10 Nail and Beauty Bar spreads out customers, requires everyone to wear masks, wash hands and employees clean frequently

The results of this adherence to CDC rules? Salter says out of her 80 employees, only four have contracted COVID-19 and they caught it from close contact outside of work.

“If you can practice multiple things with personal hygiene and disinfecting, in addition to wearing masks in appropriate places, when you’re around other people and in close contact with people that it obviously works because it’s working.”

Canada Salter, Owner of A Perfect 10 Nail and Beauty Bar

Salter says her employees and clients have recognized it’s a way to keep the business’ doors open and that benefits everyone.

“I’m glad that we can stay in business because I know some people aren’t that fortunate,” Lessard said.

“It’s just become normal. That’s just what we do in making sure we are protecting ourselves as well as others,” Salter said.