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COVID Restrictions Lifted On Nasal And Oral Piercings In Ohio

Ohioans can now get nasal and oral piercings again, but Cleveland-area body piercer Tony Rikard said he hasn't seen much demand yet.

"It's kind of picking up again," he said. "I don't know if people just haven't heard yet, but I expect it to get a little bit busier once the word kind of spreads a little bit more."

State health officials lifted the ban on piercings on Friday. The Ohio Department of Health placed the restrictions in March due to the pandemic when nail salons, beauty shops, tattoo parlors, and body piercing businesses were ordered to close. 

On May 14, those businesses were able to reopen, but oral and nasal piercings were still banned, until October 10, when Interim Health Director Lance Himes signed the amended order.

The state order requires body piercer to wear a mask and face shield or protective eyewear. Customers have to wear masks before and after the piercing.

Rikard, who works out of Addicted Body Art in Parma Heights, said his customers decided to get other types of piercings while oral and nasal piercings weren't allowed. 

"I did a lot of ear piercings,” he said. “I did a lot of tragus piercings, daith piercings, and a lot of odd piercings that people don't typically get all the time."

Tragus and daith piercings are types of ear piercings. These piercings can be seen even when a person is wearing a mask, and Rikard said it's possible people wanted a piercing on a part of their body that can be seen.

During the piercing restrictions, state health officials said there were reports of people attempting to perform their own oral and nasal piercings, which could lead to infections and other negative results.

Some customers asked to buy piercing equipment so they could do it themselves, says Body Revolution employee Brandon, who didn't want his last name used.

The shop on Cleveland's west side would always turn them down, he said, and several customers became get angry when told they couldn't get the piercing during the ban.

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