What’s closed and what’s open in Akron? See below for more info.
The agency released an updated list Monday of 28 businesses or locations in the county that it has ordered closed or negotiated with.
New to the list since it was first released Friday are Twinsburg stuffed animal maker Wild Republic, several vape shops and a car wash.
Additionally, several car washes previously ordered closed have been allowed to reopen on a limited basis because they have contracts with police and fire departments to clean vehicles.
The car washes are not open to the general public, Buford said. They must stay closed unless they are doing government contract work or if they have monthly pass holders who can use an app or scan their phone without passing money to an employee, she said.
New to the list on Monday were Wild Republic, which Buford said “on the surface it seems like they are not doing essential work. It’s our opinion they should close.” It is unclear if the business is still operating. No one answered the phone during business hours.
The public health agency also visited one Kings of Vapor location on South Arlington Street in Akron and received a phone call from the company’s attorney, who after discussing with Buford’s staff indicated the stores in Summit County would comply and close. It was unknown if the chain of stores had yet closed or if the company will close other shops outside of Summit County. The South Arlington Street location did not answer a phone call Monday.
All vape shops should close unless they can come up with a reason they are essential, Buford said.
“We invite every business to give us a reasoning that they are essential. We can’t think of everything. Something that might seem non essential on the surface, if someone gives us an argument for being essential and meets spirit and definition under the director’s order, then we accept it,” she said.
A Joann fabric store on Canton Road in Lakemore voluntarily closed because of social distancing and sanitizing requirements, and Buford said the store planned to reopen when it was in compliance. An employee answered the phone Monday and said the store was open.
Several Sally Beauty Supply stores had been ordered to close, but have been allowed to reopen with curbside service only because they sell gloves and materials for sanitizer, Buford said.
An administrator with Fortis College, a nursing school in Cuyahoga Falls that had been ordered to close last week, closed to students on March 19 and conveyed that information to the county health department the day before that.
The school was preparing nursing students for graduation this week, said Regional Vice President Peter Martinello, and several students are headed directly into patient care.
From March 19 onward, all students were working remotely, he said, and only a handful of employees were on site to handle essentials like payroll.
“We’re following the governor’s guidelines exactly,” Martinello said.
Another closure announced last week arose from missed communication attempts. World Kickboxing Academy owner Ryan Madigan said he shut down his business after the governor’s order, with the exception of a single private lesson. He said the health department, after several days of missed calls on both ends, finally declared his business had in fact closed.
The public health agency has been investigating several complaints about Hudson-based Little Tikes, a toy company, being open while employees said it was non-essential work.
Buford said the agency will be conduct a site visit Wednesday.
The company’s campus appeared completely shut down (or closed) on Monday. Corporate parent MGA Entertainment did not respond to questions from the Beacon Journal.
Anyone with concerns about non-compliant facilities in Summit County can call the health department at 330-926-5795 or use its website — www.scph.org/contact — to report their concerns.