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