The Den, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has re-opened with its dancers having struggled for income in lockdown due to government support not being open to adult workers, according to the owner
A US strip club has re-opened for business, providing ample amounts of hand sanitiser and requiring dancers to wear face masks.
The Den, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was back up and running on Friday night with a “masks on, clothes off” party – though the owner admits the move is a “risk”.
Officials gave the green-light for bars and restaurants to re-open across America with strict protocols in place, but Wyoming appears to be taking an even more liberal approach.
The state has recorded eight Covid-19 deaths and has an official total of 754 confirmed cases, with 498 having recovered.
Dancers at The Den – some wearing bandanas and others in surgical masks – are reportedly touching customers and exchanging physical cash.
Owner Kim Chavez told USA Today she didn’t feel entirely confident about the re-launch but felt she had little choice with neighbouring regular bars re-opening – some at 9am.
Her independent performers have been largely struggling for income, she claimed, with government support like the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program not open to those working in adult businesses.
“We knew that once our doors closed, we were screwed until we could reopen,” she said.
“If I’d gotten the PPP I might not have opened today. This is a risk we’re taking.
“That was the hardest part about being shut: worrying about the girls,” she continued.
“It was heartbreaking because you know every girl’s story.”
The phased reopening of U.S. business and social life gained traction on Monday with more Americans emerging from coronaviruslockdowns.
Meanwhile, financial markets were boosted by promising early results from the first US vaccine trial in humans.
Public health experts caution that easing stay-at-home orders and mandatory business closures is still risky while diagnostic testing remains scant in many places, leaving in doubt how much virus lurks undetected.
Although nearly all 50 states have begun reopening, only 13 had met federal guidelines for safely lifting restrictions as of Sunday, according to a Reuters analysis, raising concerns that infections and deaths could surge anew.
The pandemic has afflicted the United States more than any other country, with more than 1.5 million known infections and nearly 90,000 deaths.
A revision to an influential coronavirus mortality model periodically updated by University of Washington researchers predicted on Monday that 143,357 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, about 3,600 fewer than last projected.