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Coronavirus Update: Newsom Says California Nail Salon Source Of 1st Community Spread Case

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom nonchalantly dropped a major revelation during Thursday's coronavirus briefing: California's first case of community spread started at a nail salon.

"This whole thing started in the state of California, the first case of community spread, in a nail salon," said Newsom. "I just wanted to remind you, remind everybody, of that. I'm very worried about that."

Newsom revealed the information after being asked why hair and nail salons won't be allowed to open during the Stage 2 reopenings set to begin on Friday, such businesses would have to wait until Stage 3 of California's reopening process.


"As you may know, certainly for me, many of the practices that you would otherwise expect of a modification were already in play in many of these salons," said Newsom. "People that had procedure masks on, were using gloves and were advancing higher levels of sanitation."

Newsom cited indicators from public health directors across the state have raised red flags for close contact industries such as hair and nail salons.

The location of the nail salon or when this community spread occured was not revealed. The Santa Clara County Health Department told KPIX 5 that the nail salon was not in their county. The first known death in the U.S. from COVID-19 was in Santa Clara County, a woman who contracted it through community transmission on Feb. 6.

Santa Clara County has been the hardest hit in the San Francisco region with 2,281 local residents having tested positive for COVID-19 with 127 losing their lives to the disease. More than 58,800 Californians have contracted COVID-19, with 2,412 dying from the illness as of Thursday, according to the state health department.

Meanwhile on February 26th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of person-to-person transmission in California, was a resident in Solano County. That patient ended up receiving care in Sacramento County.

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.


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