KEY POINTS

  • The first coronavirus community spread in California was in a nail salon
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom is reluctant to open nail salons until Phase 3
  • There is still no timeline for Phase 3 as California begins Phase 2 on May 8

The first case of coronavirus community spread in California started in a nail salon, which explains why Gov. Gavin Newsom is still cautious about reopening such businesses, even as other states have permitted it.

California will begin to shift its reopening plans from Phase 1 to Phase 2 Friday (May 8), but nail salons will not be allowed to resume operations until the third phase of Newson's four-phase plan. Under the second phase, low-risk retail stores like florists, bookstores, and clothes shops can reopen under limited operations, but nail salons will have to wait.

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” the governor said during the press briefing after he was asked why nail salons are not part of Phase 2. “I’m very worried about that.”

Newsom added that coronavirus community spread still happened even as the nail salon staff wore masks and gloves or enforced sanitation and cleaning more often than other establishments. He said that the state's health department issued red flags on nail salons, as well as hair salons, gyms, and movie theaters, as a "high-risk" business.

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California considers nail salons as "high-risk" thus it will not be part of the state's plan to reopen businesses on May 8. Pixabay

The governor still has no planned timeline for shifting to Phase 3. The fourth phase, on the other hand, could be enforced when there are proven vaccines and medications for COVID-19. Under Phase 4, conventions and large mass gatherings, such as a sports event, will be allowed.

California's reluctance against nail salons is different from Georgia and Tennessee, which have allowed personal care businesses to operate under limited capacity since the first week of May.

As the state prepares to shift to Phase 2, there have been more than 60,600 positive coronavirus cases in California, 2,460 COVID-19 deaths.

Newsom was one of the first governors in the United States to issue a statewide stay-at-home order in the middle of March, forcing several nonessential businesses to temporarily close. The governor has been facing increasing pressure to reopen the economy from protesters in Orange County and Sacramento, while some rural counties have started going back to normal in defiance to the governor's orders.

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