According to the Democratic governor of California, his state’s coronavirus outbreak appears to have spread from a nail salon.
Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement during a press conference on Thursday as he explained why salons across the state are still not allowed to reopen, CNBC reported.
“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” he said, according to CNBC. “I’m very worried about that.”
“All we can do is just help one another”
While Newsom said the decision was made with the safety of citizens in mind, some in the affected industry say they are not pleased with his position.
“My workers are mainly all immigrant women and this is their livelihood,” salon owner Linda Do told ABC7 News in San Francisco. “And so, I just feel we can’t work, we can’t open. Mentally, all we can do is just help one another.”
According to California’s phased reopening plan, “low-risk” businesses including bookstores and florists were allowed to reopen — with modifications like curbside pickup — as of Friday.
Nail salons are included in phase three of the process and will be allowed to open alongside hair salons, barbershops, cinemas, and gyms.
“It was very scary to hear that”
Newsom did not provide specifics regarding how officials came to their conclusion that the virus began its statewide spread at a salon. As a result, one Oakland salon owner expressed concern about how the news will impact her livelihood.
“Had they known that this was the situation, absolutely zero information was ever sent to any nail care people in the industry at all,” Michelle Saunders James said, according to CNBC. “It was very scary to hear that.”
The timeline for reaching phase three remains unclear, but Newsom offered some hope to those employed in those businesses.
He hinted on Friday that the next stage “may not even be more than a month away.”
After millions across California have filed for unemployment and thousands have died as a result of the coronavirus, getting back to any sense of normalcy likely won’t happen any time soon. Until then, nail salon employees and Americans out of work across the economic spectrum just want a chance to provide for their families again.