LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Thousands of people who work in California’s beauty industry are demanding the right to reopen, despite the revelation from Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday that the first case of community spread of coronavirus in the state was traced back to a nail salon.

A nail salon in Reseda, Calif. May 8, 2020. (CBS2)

In his daily briefing Thursday, Newsom was asked why hair and nail salons won’t be allowed to reopen Friday, when the state begins to ease its stay at home orders and allow certain businesses to reopen.

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first case of community spread, in a nail salon,” Newsom said.

The Pro Nails Association – which represents salon owners, nail techs and manufacturers – along with the Professional Beauty Federation of California, are pushing back and are allegedly planning to file a lawsuit against the state. They say that in order to even be licensed, owners and employees go through hours of training, with a heavy focus on health and sanitation.

However, Newsom argued Thursday that the coronavirus could spread at salons even with those requirements in place.

“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,” he said.

When contacted by CBS2, the governor’s office would not confirmed when and where the first case of community spread happened, only saying that it would .

PNA held a news conference with the volunteer initiative Nailing it for America at Advance Beauty College in Garden Grove Friday to discuss the issue.

“We want to also send a personal invitation on behalf of the 300,000 people of Vietnamese descent who live and work here to Gov. Newsom to come to Orange County, and come to a nail salon when it reopens for stage 3,” said Tam Nguyen with Nailing it for America. “Governor you will meet the most patriotic, the most professional, the most hardworking, the most compassionate, and most grateful Californians you’ll ever meet.”

Newsom announced earlier this week that the state will begin moving Friday into the second phase of his four-phase reopening plan, which involves reopening businesses and workplaces that are deemed low-risk because they can easily enact social distancing guidelines.

They include florists, car dealership showrooms, and stores that sell clothing, toys, music, sporting goods, and books, all of which can only reopen for curbside pickup.

RELATED: LA County Parks To Open On Mother’s Day; Golf Courses, Trails Open Saturday

Hair and nail salons fall under stage three of Newsom’s reopening plan, which also includes gyms, movie theaters and sporting venues without fans.

Comments (4)
  1. FedUp says:

    I read that the county that the governor claims this started in has denied giving the governor this information. This is the quote – “KPIX reached out to the Solano County Department of Public Health regarding Newsom’s comments about the nail salon. The agency said it could not confirm this information and that it did not release this information when the first COVID-19 community spread occurred.”

    1. Gigi says:

      Yeah, you’re right. This whole thing is probably a mass conspiracy against nail salon operators.

  2. I am not convinced Newsom has any valid information to base the delay on. Nail salons are routinely inspected by the state’s Board of Cosmetology and have very strict health and cleanliness regulations to follow.

    The salon where I have my nails done is owned by the same woman who has done my nails for 20 years. Her salon is relatively small and couldn’t handle more than ten customers at a time if she tried. (I personally have never seen more than six in there.) She and her employees wear masks and gloves routinely. They not only clean the foot spa bowls after every use, they use a disposable liner for each customer in addition. They use fresh tools for every manicure and pedicure — did you know, Mr. Governor, that there are now services that pick up the used tools, sanitize and clean them, and then return them to the salon in sealed packages? — and they wipe down manicure tables, sinks, and everything else a customer might touch routinely. I know because I HAVE watched them perform all these tasks.

    My friend has never had a violation in the two decades I have known her. If the customers were to wear face masks as well I believe the risk of contracting the virus at her salon … at ANY salon that properly cares about health and cleanliness … drops to near-zero.

    My educated guess is that the infected customer wasn’t wearing a mask (and at that time, early March, that would not be surprising) and neither was whoever they caught it from. But unless the Hon. Mr. Newsom gives us the details, he doesn’t know any better than I can guess. And his guess is based less on fact than mine and more on his own instinct.

    On this matter, he is no better than President Trump in the basis for his decision. How I wish I didn’t have to say that.

  3. RWA says:

    Still waiting for The Gov. To prove his statement. Odd he mentioned it after being threatened with a lawsuit of 300,000 Beauticians!!!

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