San Mateo County is the only Bay Area county not on the sate watch list, and people from across the region are heading there for services they can’t get at home.
But as the county sees more new COVID-19 cases, health leaders fear the state will put the county on the watch list in just a few days, meaning gyms and hair salons would have to shut down.
On Saturday night downtown San Mateo was busy. Tony Llamas drove 22 miles from San Francisco to get his first professional haircut in four months.
“I said, ‘I’m going to try to get a haircut today here in San Mateo, because that’s the only place you can get a haircut these days,’” Llamas said.
Other stylists said they were busy Saturday too.
One-year-old Ace lives nearby, but many of the customers at Alex’s Deluxe barber drove from San Jose or Dublin to get a cut.
However, it’s a luxury that may not be available next weekend.
“It appears to us that the county may be on the state’s watch list early next week, and that’s the result of issues concerning new cases,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Canepa.
The head of the health department issued a statement that said in part, “While we are not currently on this list, our case rate of 101.2 cases per 100,000 in the population (14 day rolling average) will likely put us on the list soon.”
Canepa feels that the county was able to get to this phase of easing restrictions in part because of an aggressive public outreach campaign launched early.
Canepa also said that while there is some concern over the number of visitors, it all comes down to wearing a mask so the county’s next message won’t be about having to close hair salons and gyms.