Essential car wash? Local company applies for NY PAUSE exemption


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Under the executive order called New York on PAUSE, car washes in New York state are not considered an essential business so they have to close.

But many who drove by Royal Car Wash locations might be wondering why it is still open. Owned by well known developers the Danieles, the family asked the state for an exemption.

Seven years ago, Danny Daniele said they entered into multiple contracts with various police departments and other first responders. Daniele said the Royal Car Washes are touch-free, unmanned auto terminals and customers don’t actually make contact with anyone or anything.

In the age of COVID-19, Daniele said having a clean vehicle on patrol, or coming back from emergencies clean, is crucial.

“We’ve been contacted by many of them, asking if they can run their vehicles through, because their drivers are concerned of bodily fluids that are left on the outside of their cars from transporting individuals. As we all know, it’s a very sensitive topic,” Daniele said.

“If you think about it, you go to an altercation, there’s a bunch of people, they’re touching your car, coughing, spitting, whatever it might be, what does an officer do after that? You can’t go home for the day.”

Daniele said any reports of employees working should just be one on-site to ensure soap and other material stay full for the facility. There are a number of Royal Car Washes across the region in Rochester, Pittsford, Victor and even into Buffalo.

On the possible exemption for Royal Car Wash, the New York State Car Wash Association issued a statement saying:

“According to the Empire State Development’s (ESD) Guidance on Essential Businesses,
car washes are not deemed ‘essential.’ Our membership has been made aware of that fact. Although a number of operators have put in a request to ESD to be deemed essential, to our knowledge none of them have received that exemption. Our membership continues to do all it can to adhere to the Governor’s guidelines to help flatten the curve and stay closed to best protect their employees, customers and themselves.”

Suzanne Stansbury, Executive Director, New York State Car Wash Association

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