Laundromats lose business, adapt to limit spread of coronavirus

Apr 4, 2020

Laundromats, deemed an essential business by the state, seem like they could be more crowded than ever as people focus on cleaning as a way to protect themselves from coronavirus.

In fact, laundromats in Wareham have seen a drop in business, and have asked the customers who do attend to wait in their cars while their clothes are being washed and dried. Meanwhile, laundromat employees have started cleaning more thoroughly than ever before to limit the spread of the virus.

Jason Bovarnick owns the Speedwash Laundromat on Main Street. He said that his business saw a “crash” about two and a half weeks ago, and that he is only seeing about half the total volume that he used to. 

“Basically, the business fell off a cliff,” he said.

To limit the spread of the virus, Bovarnick is asking customers to wait in their cars while their clothes are in the washers and dryers, and to fold clothes at home instead of at the laundromat.

He added that employees are cleaning door knobs, and other surfaces about six to eight times per day. 

Due to the drop in business, Bovarnick has also limited hours at Speedwash. The laundromat was normally open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Now, Speedwash is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. 

Steve Corey, owner of Wareham Laundry Center, said that his business is also encouraging customers to wait in their cars and fold clothes at home. He has also posted signs to remind people to keep their distance from others.

Hours at Wareham Laundry Center are the same as they normally are — 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. — but employees are only present from about 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Corey said that he is not forcing employees to work if they don’t feel safe, but he has provided masks and gloves for those who choose to work. 

Corey said that he has also lost revenue recently, but that he is glad that his business is able to stay open. 

At Brandy Hill Apartments, laundry rooms, and other common spaces are being cleaned more thoroughly due to the coronavirus.

“In mid-March Brandy Hill Apartments immediately adopted new policies establish by Preservation of Affordable Housing Communities to actively mitigate the threat that the COVID-19 virus poses to our residents, our staff, and the communities we serve,” said regional manager Jennifer  Cavaco.