CORONA (CBSLA) – A hair salon in Corona reopened for business Monday in defiance of California’s statewide order requiring all nonessential businesses to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kira Boranian, owner of Lather Studio, posted a video to the business’ Facebook page Saturday announcing the reopening.
“It’s been rough, things have been absolutely crazy for our industry,” she said.
Boranian explained that the hairstylists who work at the salon are all independent contractors who rent out space there.
“I don’t give paychecks, these girls are independent on their own, self-employed,” she said.
Boranian emphasized that her stylists will be wearing masks and disposable gloves. They will sanitize their stations between every customer and will clean the capes on a daily basis. So far, about 20 percent of stylists have returned to their stations.
“I feel like it is my constitutional right to be able to open my doors, bring our clients back here, enjoy the atmosphere where we make sure it’s top-notch sanitized and cleaned, we’re licensed for that,” she said.
On March 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for the the entire state. Under the order, people can only leave their homes for essential needs. The orders ban all gatherings of 10 people or more outside of a single home and calls for non-essential businesses that require employees to report for work to shut down, such as nail and hair salons, gyms, clubs and movie theaters.
On Tuesday, Newsom said personal care businesses — including salons — could be months away from being able to safely open up.
Boranian said she doesn’t think she’s breaking any laws by reopening the salon’s doors, but the Riverside County Public Health Department disagrees. They say violating their public health order is a crime.
Corona police visited the salon on Monday to educate Boranian about the order. The city said if the salon remains in non-compliance, it may be referred to the county counsel for enforcement.
For now, Boranian said she’s willing to roll the dice.
“I really, really encourage other people to do it [too],” she said. “Let’s all stand together.”
Earlier this month, Riverside County made face coverings mandatory for anyone going out in public.
Riverside County had 3,643 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 141 deaths from the disease as of Monday.