On Tuesday, California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that, in addition to several California counties getting permission to reopen on a greater scale, nail salons in California can now operate indoors, regardless of tiers.
Nail salons to reopen, 5 counties moving from purple to red tiers
While nail salons are now allowed to reopen indoors, individual county restrictions will still apply, meaning many may have more limited capacities or services compared to other counties. Dr. Ghaly’s announcement also means that nail salons can now rejoin barbershops and hair salons in having the green light to open statewide. Nail salons were not included during the last reopening, angering many nail salon owners statewide.
Dr. Ghaly also announced that COVID-19 numbers and positivity rates were falling, allowing many counties to reopen even further in new tiers. The Counties of Alameda, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, and Solano all moved from the strictest purple tier to the red tier, further expanding the number of businesses allowed to reopen indoors. The counties of El Dorado, Lassen, and Nevada moved down to the next lowest orange tier while one county, Mariposa, was moved to the lowest COVID-19 reopening tier, yellow.
More good news for Southern California
San Diego County, which had been looking into taking the state to court over re-openings and had had a large rally in favor of such a plan Monday night in San Diego narrowly avoided being moved up to the highly restrictive purple tier by .1 cases per 100,000 residents. Many business leaders in San Diego feared that such a move would hurt businesses in county beyond repair.
“We are working hard with San Diego to figure out how we can support and look at the numbers so we make that decision in the wisest way we possibly can with both the public health of the San Diego community in mind but also in the broadest way, not just COVID health but the broad economic health,” explained Dr. Ghaly on Tuesday.
“We don’t yet have enough evidence that it can be attributed to the businesses that have already begun to increase their operations in San Diego. Although we’re closely looking at that and that’s where the disease investigation and the contact tracing work, which San Diego is doing an excellent job on, is really useful, so this will be a busy week for San Diego in conversations about how we plan on moving forward.”
Los Angeles County also received some unexpected good news as it hit red tier level requirements for the first time during the week. While counties to need to hold the threshold for several weeks in order to be moved down, the figures could indicate that Los Angeles County, once one of the nations largest hit by COVID-19 counties, could be improving.
“All in all this is good news,” explained Robert Harmon, a Los Angeles lawyer who has been advising businesses on reopening, to the Globe. “Nail salons are going to be free once more, and a lot of county businesses are probably eager to expand back inside. I actually have three more Zoom calls today with Riverside County businesses on what the next steps are legally.”
“But if you look at the counties on a map, the greater Bay Area is starting to clear up, as is Southern California. And granted, weeks of wildfires and having people stay indoors more might be playing a part of it, but we were seeing improvements even before the wildfires starting doing damage.”
“For businesses across California, it’s either very good news, or enough good things happening to nearby counties to give hope for further re-openings during this month and next.”
“When was the last time one of these COVID-19 conferences only gave good news?”
More county re-openings are expected in coming weeks as the number of new cases, as well as the overall positivity rate, continues to fall statewide.