When asked Thursday about why nail salons and hair salons aren't included in Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan, Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed matter-of-factly that community spread of the virus in California started in a nail salon.
"This whole thing started in the state of California, the community spread, at a nail salon," he said. "Let me just remind everyone of that. I'm very worried about that."
The governor's statement has left many salon owners worried about the impact on their entire industry.
"The bills don't stop coming," said Linda Do, who owns Blossom Nail Spa in Campbell. "We've got rent to pay. It's very stressful."
Do thinks the governor's message could hit smaller, lesser-known salons, but believes Blossom Nail Spa will be fine.
“I did not know that, nor did any of my colleagues,” said Michelle Saunders, owner of Saunders and James nail salon in Oakland. “Or maybe anyone else in the Bay Area.”
“I was very surprised about what Gov. Gavin Newsom said because we haven’t heard anything about that, and we don’t know what to do when it comes to protecting ourselves, protecting our clients protecting customers. We’re gonna need PPE too.”
Some businesses like Blossom Nail Spa in San Jose have already begun installing plexiglass dividers in hopes that they will soon get a green light to open.
Microbiologist Jessica Malaty Rivera said that scientists know coronavirus can be spread through coughing, sneezing, talking and even breathing.
“The concern is the breathing in each other’s face, and the concern is simply the fact that you cannot practice safe social distancing in a nail salon,” said Rivera. “You’re sitting within arm’s reach of somebody, which is much less than six feet.”