Salons & Barbers Allowed To Reopen Under State’s New “Blueprint For A Safer Economy”

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By Don Fish Jr

Hair Salons and Barbershops are now allowed to reopen indoors.  After several weeks of only being allowed to operate outdoors, Governor Newsom announced that beginning Monday, August 31, 2020, these businesses would be allowed to operate indoors with restrictions under a new color-coded tiered risk factor chart, which was revealed at the same time.

The “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” is designed to reduce COVID-19 in the State with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities that will determine when different business sectors can reopen and under what conditions.  The color-tiered chart has four tiers that run from yellow (minimal), orange (moderate), red (substantial), and purple (widespread).  According to Governor Newsom, there is no green on the chart because that would be a complete return to pre-pandemic conditions that are not foreseen at present. San Bernardino County, along with 37 other counties are in the Purple tier and will face some of the most stringent restrictions in the State.

California’s new four tiered COVID-19 monitoring system which replaces the State Monitoring List.

Under the purple tier, nail salons will still only be able to operate outdoors.  Bars and taverns that don’t sell food will remain closed, and restaurants will not be allowed to serve guests indoors. The State has launched a webpage that will allow anyone to enter their county, business, or activity and find out the status: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/. More detailed information about how each sector may operate within each tier and can be found HERE. Additionally a spreadsheet is available for download which lists each county showing the tier they are in and the data that was used to determine tier placement. It can be found HERE.

San Bernardino County has been on the state “monitoring list,” which is being phased out and replaced with the tier chart.  Counties in the purple tier are experiencing more than seven new COVID-19 cases daily per 100,000 residents, and more than 8% of the residents tested have positive results.  San Bernardino County is currently at approx 12 daily cases per 100k, almost double the criteria for tier 1 and a 10.1% positivity rate, which is two percentage points above the 8% threshold.

For counties to move from one tier to the next, the county would have to meet the next level’s criteria for two consecutive weeks.  At that point, the county would have to remain in that tier for at least three weeks and would have to meet the requirements for the next tier for two weeks before moving into that next level.  Individual counties may adopt more stringent restrictions but cannot have requirements that are list restrictive than the State.  So far, San Bernardino County has not imposed any additional or stricter requirements.

Additionally, Dr. Ghaly, who is the secretary of Health and Human Services for the State and Governor Newsom, noted that the State will still be monitoring hospitalization rates and the capacity of hospital intensive-care units in each county which will remain factors in deciding if counties can move from one tier to another.  If hospitalizations and ICU rates are increasing in a particular county, it could trigger a reversal to a more stringent tier.

Under the purple tier in San Bernardino County, businesses that may reopen with modifications are retail shopping malls at 25% capacity, hair salons, and barbershops.  Businesses that can open for only outdoor operations include aquariums, museums, and zoos; body waxing studios and estheticians; cardrooms; cultural ceremonies; drive-in theaters and movie theaters; family entertainment centers including kart racing, miniature golf or batting cages; gyms and fitness centers; massage therapy studios; churches and other places of worship; racetracks and satellite wagering sites; wineries; and yoga studios.

Schools and colleges will remain restricted to online instruction with the exception of an elementary school waiver.  Under the tier system, schools and colleges in the purple tier may reopen after their county has been promoted to the red tier, and then only after the county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks.

The businesses that are ordered to remain closed under the purple tier are bars, breweries, pubs, and distilleries where meals are not served; concert venues; convention centers; electrologists; festivals; live theaters; nightclubs; piercing shops and tattoo parlors; saunas and steam rooms; and theme parks.

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