SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines on personal care services that will allow for nail salons, hair salons, barbershops to reopen their services by moving outdoors.

The announcement comes a week after Newsom ordered salons to close all counties on the state’s watch list of increasing coronavirus cases.

The governor noted that the state had intended to put together guidelines for the outdoor operation of personal care services such as hair and nail salons and barbershops last week when the initial rollback of reopenings was announced, but that certain complications slowed the completion of those guidelines.

“Turned out that was more challenging than it may have appeared. The good news is we now have new guidelines out on the COVID-19.ca.gov website clarifying what we can and can’t do as it relates to hair cuts and activities that we want to move from indoors to outdoors for personal care services industry,” said Newsom. “It turned out, without getting into too many details, that issues of chemicals and shampoos and perms were more complicated than some had considered, particularly as relates to local ordinances and rules and regulations. So we worked through that over the last couple of days.”

The new guidance applies to esthetic, skin care, cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy in non-healthcare settings. However, other personal services such as electrology, tattooing, and piercing services are not included because they are invasive procedures requiring a controlled, indoor hygienic environment.

COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE:

Hair salons and barbershops had appealed to the governor to ease the restrictions in order to allow them to work outside, noting that their industry already operates with a safety-trained and certified workforce that could reliably adapt to the new COVID world.

Some salons in the Bay Area had reopened for just two days before they were closed down once again following the governor’s announcement last week of major rollbacks to the state’s reopening plans because of increasing coronavirus cases in the state. The order forced the closure of all bars and indoor dining statewide, along with the closure of all gyms, churches, and salons in counties on the state’s watch list.

While many salon owners lobbied the state for a variance to move operations outside, not everyone is on board. “It’s completely unsanitary. We live in California, most of the temperatures in California are 90-plus,” said Tara Piaskowski, owner of Studio Terra Bella in Pleasanton. “With capes and masks and regulations that we normally do. It’s really hot. You’re sweating. Your client is sweating, there’s more bodily fluids happening than there would be indoors.”

At Jack Thomas Salon in Danville, which was briefly re-opened before the second shutdown, owner Donald Kolinski was unsure about insurance questions if things move outside.

“It gives us more problems to be honest, because some people do want to do a few haircuts, but I don’t want to drag a 25-hundred dollar chair out in front of my salon, scratch it up, worry about my liability,” said Kolinski. “Who’s responsible for that? Is my landlord responsible for that? Am I responsible for that?”

The state reported 6,846 new coronavirus infections over the last 24 hour period and a 7-day average of 8,911 daily cases. California has totaled more than 390,000 COVID-19 cases, and more than 7,700 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Newsom offered some encouraging news about the state’s testing and positivity rates, noting that California was administering an average of over 124,000 tests per day over the past week and that the state’s 14-day positivity rate was holding steady at 7.4%, while the 7-day positivity rate dropped from 7.7% to 7.2 percent.

“But, again, no one is satisfied being north of seven percent, and we got close to eight percent last week,” said Newsom. “These numbers can change very, very quickly depending on our personal behavior, the sum total of which will determine the direction of the lines on this graph and, ultimately, the direction of our ability to reopen the economy and get our schools back open as all of us so desperately look forward to.”

The state is reporting a 16% increase in hospitalizations; however, Newsom noted the rate of increase had declined from 50% two weeks ago.

Andria Borba contributed to this report.

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