California identifies nail salons as source of spread, Gov. Newsom says

Community spread of the coronavirus in California began in a nail salon, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, as other states allow their manicurists to reopen.

Newsom has announced a four-phase plan to reopening the state’s economy that begins on Friday. Unlike some other states that have announced reopenings, California nail salons won’t be allowed to reopen until the state’s phase 3. The state is currently shifting from phase 1 to phase 2.

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon,” Newsom said at a news briefing. “I’m very worried about that.”

State health directors have put some “red flags” on nail salons as a high-risk business, Newsom added, likening them to gyms and hair salons. He announced Monday that the state will allow some low-risk businesses, including¬†bookstores, warehouses, florists and more, to begin reopening with modifications and offering curbside pick up as soon as Friday.

He has not offered a timeline for when other businesses such as nail salons can reopen, which will likely depend on the local containment of the outbreak in different parts of the state.

Covid-19 has infected more than 60,600 people in California and killed at least 2,460 people in the state, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Other states haven’t been as cautions when it comes to reopening personal care locations like nail salons. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced earlier this week hair and nail salons, barber shops and tanning salons will be allowed to reopen with modifications on Friday.¬†

As states reopen in various ways and to different degrees, epidemiologists are eagerly watching the data to try to glean some results. However, in the absence of a comprehensive coronavirus test and trace program, researchers say it will likely be weeks after reopening until the policy decisions are evident in the data. 

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