Chester County businesses adapt after moving into green phase of reopening plan

Chester County moved to the green phase last Friday as Philadelphia officials put a pause on some reopening plans after failing to reach target coronavirus case counts.

The Fragale Brothers Barber Shop in Kennett Square has been open since 1899, and there, customers can get a haircut in an original, porcelain barber chair. 

“[We’ve] been through the Spanish Flu, Great Depression, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam,” said Barry Fragale. 

Owners Barry and Mike Fragale, who are generational owners, say they now consider COVID-19 to be on their list of horrific events.

Fragale: No I was not-not worried. It’s a strong barber shop with a strong customer base. We could get through this,” said Mike. 

Chester County went to the green reopening phase on Friday, and the Fragale’s say that there was a line down their block. The county’s advance to green comes after COVID-19 statistics have reflected a drop in cases, and the Health Department reports a decrease of 101 cases in June.

In the same area, shops welcome customers with ‘open’ signs and doors, but there are limited amounts of customers. 

“There was a long while you’d come and there would be no cars outside at all, definitely seeing more traffic-still not what we’re used to in terms of in and out,” said Chris Thompson of Philter.

As Chester County turns green, Philadelphia is keeping indoor dining and gyms closed as coronavirus returns among youth.

“It could be as bad as we saw in April or worse-could overwhelm hospitals, could increase deaths forcing us to shutdown again,” Dr. Thomas Farley, Philadelphia Health Commissioner.

As of now, there are no limits to the green phase in Chester County.

“[It] cost money every time you make a change. In order for me to open dining in I’ve got to make Ganges costing money. For that to be reversed-that’s a fear,” said Thomas.

RELATED: Philadelphia pauses some reopening plans including indoor dining, gyms after rise in cases


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