SANTA CLARA (KPIX) – The surge in COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County prompted a quick end to what had been a happy re-opening for many businesses including salons, spas and gyms.
Now, after another shutdown order just hours after the re-opening, workers feel confused and disappointed.
“It’s a wave of emotions. I’m definitely upset. We just want to come back to work. This is how we make our living,” said Jacquiline Gallegos, a hair stylist at Bishops Cut and Color, in Santa Clara.
Ashley Mulato’s excitement about coming back to work didn’t even last one full shift.
“It was really towards the end of the day, my last client when I heard we had to shut down. It was definitely annoying and sad,” Mulato said.
Over the last week, hair salons in Santa Clara County have been ping-ponging between being allowed to reopen and then not, four times as the state and county struggle to come up with a plan that sticks.
Many business owners spent time and money gearing up for the short-lived re-opening including retrofitting plastic partitions, cleaning and extra training.
Now, they’re back to square one.
“Closing again is not that much of a surprise to me. I wish we didn’t have to go through the roller coaster ride but I’m going to comply so we can beat this virus,” said Nooshi Nayak who runs a salon, in San Jose.
She excitedly took her first client in months at 12:01 p.m. Monday. She’ll have to close up again at midnight tonight for who knows how long.
One salon owner said his employees will continue to be paid through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which has become a lifeline for stylists because of the high cost of living in Silicon Valley.
But he said, those funds are only for a limited time, and things grow more uncertain, the longer the shutdown drags on.