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SJ Nail Salon Hopes To Reopen Indoors Under New COVID-19 'Red Tier' Health Order

SAN JOSE (KPIX) - New health orders are expected to take effect in Santa Clara County Tuesday that could ease the region from the 'Purple Tier' to the 'Red Tier' in the state's new four-tier, color-coded ranking system for tracking the spread of coronavirus.

A red designation would allow nail salons to open indoors at a limited capacity.

"Until now, we don't know when we can be able to work inside the shop. So it's not fair for the clients, and it's not fair for us too," said Kimmy Nguyen, a San Jose nail technician.

Nail salons were allowed to briefly reopen in July but were shut down again by health officials after just two days. Then, hair styling was allowed to re-open inside last week, but nail technicians were still shut out in brutal conditions.

"They have to deal with the weather, hot, dust, noisy. The clients are looking to see us for relax," Ms. Nguyen said.

The move from a "widespread" purple designation to a less severe "substantial" red condition would allow nail salons to come back inside. One salon owner said there are greater safety concerns operating businesses outside because of the heat and smoke.

"Inside is more safe than outside. I hope we can open soon," said salon owner Lieu Shultz.

Under a red condition, restaurants and theatres would also be allowed to reopen for indoor service at 25 percent capacity. But Santa Clara health officials say not here. Those services will remain restricted to outside for the foreseeable future.

It doesn't make sense to Ed Ramsay, owner of The Drying Shed restaurant, who has 7,700 square feet of indoor space now going to waste.

"That would be healthier for them than sitting outside amidst a raging forest fire for the last several weeks," Mr. Ramsay said.

A decision on what color code the state will designate for Santa Clara County will get was expected on Tuesday.

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