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We are continuing our simultaneous countdowns of the Top-10 Most Read Jersey Shore Covid News Stories and Most Watched Jersey Shore Covid News Videos of 2020.

Here is the 2nd most read Covid article followed by the 2nd most watched Covid video on our social media platforms of Facebook and YouTube across 92.7 WOBM, 94.3ThePoint, 105.7TheHawk, the new Beach 104.1 FM and the Shore Sports Network.

2nd Most Read Covid Article...Expect road closures, compliance checks as Ocean County restaurants open for outdoor dining. (30,857 page views), Story Date: June 12, 2020.

The good news at this point in June was that restaurants could open for outdoor dining beginning on June 15 but things would be different this summer in Ocean County.

Ocean County government leaders had been preparing for many of the 3,000 food establishments, be it eateries or restaurants providing outside dining beginning that upcoming Monday and they were helping municipalities with needs like extra seating and parking on county roads.

“We have received a number of calls from municipalities asking that we help accommodate restaurants located on county roads that want to have outside dining. We want to do everything we can to make this happen safely," Ocean County Freeholder John  Kelly, who is liaison to the Ocean County Engineering Department, said in prepared remarks.

Kelly said at that point that the County had been in discussions with town officials from Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach and Toms River to determine the best set up that will allow a good dining experience while keeping everyone safe.

In Toms River, the County allowed for the temporary closure of one block of Washington Street, a County road, from Main Street to Robbins Parkway to accommodate outside dining.

In Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach, the County roadways remained open for drivers but barricades were positioned to block off the parking spaces along the roadway so people can safely access the restaurants while dining tables will be located on the sidewalk.

Here were the protocols retail food establishments had to follow - and customers could expect - while dining outdoors:

  • Ensure all areas designated for food and/or beverage consumption are in conformance with applicable local, State, and Federal regulations.
  • Limit capacity to a number that ensures all patrons can remain six feet apart from all other patrons at all times, except for those patrons with whom they are sharing a table.
  • Ensure that tables seating individual groups are six feet apart in all directions and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an outdoor bar area, are also six feet apart in all directions.
  • Prohibit patrons from entering the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except to walk through such premises when entering or exiting the food or beverage establishment in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom.
  • Require patrons to wear a face covering while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, unless the patron has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age.
  • Prohibit smoking in any outdoor areas designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages. The requirement that food or beverage establishments impose this prohibition shall automatically sunset once food or beverage establishments are permitted to offer in-person service in indoor areas.

2nd Most Watched Covid Video....Barbershop, Hair & Nail Salons and Tattoo Parlors and customers embrace reopening. (5,388 video views), Story Date: June 23, 2020.

Who wants a haircut?! How about a tattoo?!

Lots of people by the middle of June.

As a new round of reopening within Phase 2 got underway there was much that stayed the same as you went for a haircut, got it colored or changed or got your nails done as well as heading to a tattoo parlor but a lot will be different as well.

One thing that's certain is business owners and residents alike were excited to get back into their normal routines.

The pandemic and subsequent closures were a dagger to businesses forced to close for any period of time.

The financial sting was felt at Nia Sofia Salon on Route 37 in Toms River, but owner Christina Menagos said she was confident they'll be able to make up for lost time.

"We are going to make it back, we may not make what we lost back but we will come back to the top again," Menagos said. "We've thrived off of running a business that was 'the coffee shop meets New York City luxury' and I think we'll just take that and carry on and make up for what we lost."

Paige Principato, a hair stylist at Headz or Nailz salon on Lacey Road in the Forked River section of Lacey Township, says they were providing time and space for clients getting their hair or nails done while ensuring health and safety.

"For Nails, all of the clients have their own issued personal tools and everything now," Principato said. "For Hair, we're booking a little more time and we're not overbooking so the clients appointment is their appointment. We're also sanitizing between each client."

At Tailored Barber on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River, owner Bobby Menagos, was willing to do whatever it takes to stay open and make sure everyone feels safe.

"We're just happy to know that we're back to what we can do in our careers, our craft that we love," Menagos said. "I just said whatever they (the State of New Jersey) give us, I'll take...if it's a shield or a mask to wear...if I've got to wear a jumpsuit...whatever you got to give me, I'll do just to come back. We want to be safe in coming back to doing what we have to do, which was taken from us and it was hard but now we're back with the team and the guys and the clients we're going to see daily and weekly."

Rich Bazzanella, the owner of Hot Rod Inkin on Ocean Gate Avenue in Ocean Gate says that they lost a lot of money while being closed but they've otherwise held on okay being aided by a Small Business Loan and at that point in June said that as long as thing kept trending in a positive direction, they would see a boost in business.

"I think people are willing to come back and I think that they're definitely going to come back," Bazzanella said. "As long as the Coronavirus doesn't have a second wave and we don't have to close again, I think we're going to be fine. Everyone is really anxious to get tattooed. We're already booked right back up to where we were so besides this three month gap we're going to be fine."

Stephanie Schmelter, the owner of Art Gallery Tattoo in Forked River explains that being closed has been tough on them.

"On a personal level, it's been tough for us artists. One stimulus check is hard to stretch out through three months of no income, with personal and shop bills both piling up. Only a couple of us have had luck with NJ Unemployment and even that help did not come until almost May," Schmelter said.

Check back here on our website and app for #1 in our countdown of the Top-10 Most Read Jersey Shore Covid News Articles and Most Watched Jersey Shore Covid News Videos of 2020.

Top-10 Covid Stories Recap:

9th Most Watched Covid Video...Monmouth County Covid Business & Primary Plans.

7th Most Watched Covid Video...What Have We Learned About Covid-19?.

6th Most Watched Covid Video...Beach And Boardwalk Covid-19 Safety Tips.

5th Most Watched Covid Video...Six Flags Is Back Open!

4th Most Watched Covid Video...How EMS Squads Are Keeping Safe During Pandemic.

3rd Most Watched Covid Video...Ocean County Summer Beach Plans.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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