Nail salons in California are planning to sue the Governor Gavin Newsom after he revealed that California’s COVID-19 outbreak began in one of the state’s venues.
California is shifting into Phase 2 of its four-stage reopening plan on Friday, which will allow some sectors of ‘low-risk’ retail including clothing stores, bookstores and florists to get back up and running with physical distancing restrictions or with operations limited to curbside pickup.
But when asked at a Thursday news conference about why nail salons and hair salons weren’t included in the second stage of the plan, Newsom matter-of-factly stated that community spread of the virus in the state began in a nail salon.
‘This whole thing started in the state of California, the community spread, at a nail salon,’ he said. ‘Let me just remind everyone of that. I’m very worried about that.
Gov Gavin Newsom revealed that California’s COVID-19 outbreak began at a nail salon as he described the state’s latest steps to reopen its economy at a news conference on Thursday
‘Many of the practices that you would otherwise expect of a modification were already in play in many of these salons, with people that had procedure masks on, were using gloves, and were advancing higher levels of sanitation.’
The Professional Beauty Federation of California published a section on their website: ‘Time to Sue Governor Newsom.’
‘The PBFC has decided to sue Governor Newsom to force him to reopen our salons much sooner than his vowed ‘months not weeks’ timeline.
‘We understand that not all salons and stylists will want to reopen under the current threat of this pandemic. Nothing in our legal challenge will force anyone to act against their will,’ the statement read.
Three California counties – Modoc, Yuba and Sutter – have allowed a variety of businesses including salons, gyms and tattoo parlors to open this week in defiance of Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order. A customer is seen getting her nails done at in Yuba City last Wednesday
‘We just believe that the formal education/training of our stylists warrant our safe reopening under additional ‘social distancing’ protocols, which our State Board and industry stakeholders have been putting together for weeks.
‘Governor Newsom cannot change the goal posts in the middle of the game by transitioning from reducing the contagion curve to stopping the spread altogether by extending the shutdown for several more months. If he does, most of our barbers, stylists, manicurists, and skin care professionals and the businesses they operate in will either fold up shop or resume their livelihoods in open defiance to feed their families and keep their businesses afloat.
‘With the proper PPE and procedures in place, our licensed professionals can safely resume their services and contribute to California’s economic recovery.’
Professional Beauty Federation of California which represents salons is planning to sue the governor in the hope of securing a more regulated opening. Customers wait for to get their nails done at the Nail Tech salon in the Yuba Sutter Mall in Yuba City, California, on Wednesday
On Thursday, Newsom added that state health directors have put ‘red flags’ on nail salons as high-risk, likening them to gyms and hair salons.
Those businesses will be included in Phase 3 of the reopening plan, he said, without offering a timeline of when that step will come as it will depend on how the virus progresses.
California is home to 11,000 nail salons, with 80% owned by Vietnamese Americans.
‘If we don’t take action now to protect our investment and livelihoods, people could misunderstand,’ said Christie Nguyen to the LA Times who runs 18 Nail Bar in Tustin.
FOUR STAGES TO REOPEN CALIFORNIA
Stage one: Safety and Preparedness
Staying home and flattening the curve. Building out testing, PPE, and hospital capacity. Making essential workplaces as safe as possible. Preparing sector-by-sector guidelines for a safe re-opening.
Stage two: Lower Risk Workplaces
Gradually re-opening some lower risk workplaces with adaptations.
This will include: Retail (e.g. curbside pickup), manufacturing, offices (when telework not possible) and more public spaces
Stage three: Higher Risk Workplaces
Gradually re-opening some higher risk environments with adaptations and limits on size of gatherings.
This will include: Personal care (hair salons, nail salons, gyms), movie theaters, sports without live audiences and in-person religious services
Stage four: End of Stay-At-Home Order
Re-opening the highest risk parts of our economy once therapeutics have been developed.
This will include mass gatherings such as: Concerts, convention centers and live audience sports
‘It’s just baffling to know why he would come out and say that,’ she added. ‘It could be misleading to the public when we are allowed to open again since everyone’s afraid of COVID.’
‘People should not feed into any hysteria around this whole issue since every public place is a place where there’s a chance to spread the disease,’ said customer Windy Olaya, of Orange to the Times.
‘If you walk into an establishment and workers aren’t wearing masks, it could cause fear, sure, but if you see them following guidelines, why wouldn’t you want to support them?’
On Monday morning, the PBFC plan to file the suit in federal court to demand salons conduct a regulated reopening.
‘We were 100 percent behind the lockdown, so that we would not overwhelm our hospitals,’ the group’s legal counsel Fred Jones said to The Daily Beast. ‘However, after two months of the lockdown, in which, by Gov. Newsom’s own admission, we have succeeded—we have checked the mark, we have flattened the curve—we were anticipating that the governor would allow for gradual reopenings of our beauty salons under strict new guidelines.
‘A lot of our stylists are on the brink of starvation in order to make their leases and make ends meet,’ Jones said. ‘So you have a volatile combination of desperate clients and desperate stylists. We know that will lead to thousands of our stylists going underground and moving kitchen to kitchen and house to house. That’s reality. Nobody can argue that. So the real question is: how do you stop that from happening if you’re the governor? You can’t.’