SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS)—Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 26 cleared the way for barbershops and hair salons to open in counties that have been approved to move deeper into California’s reopening roadmap, including Orange County.
Los Angeles County—home to roughly half of the state’s COVID-19 cases and deaths—has not yet been granted the “regional variance” needed to open more types of businesses.
As of May 26, 47 of the state’s 58 counties have been granted those variances. They are based on criteria such as the rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths, and the availability of testing and contact-tracing.
The variances allow counties to move deeper into Stage 2 of the state’s reopening roadmap, most notably allowing the resumption of limited dine-in service at restaurants and in-person shopping at retail establishments.
“Along those lines, they [counties] will be able to add in barbershops and hair salons to those regional variations starting today,” Newsom said, adding that the businesses will have to operate with substantial safety modifications.
“We put those guidelines out … and those counties will begin to allow for those kinds of operations with meaningful modifications,” he added, citing appropriate protective gear, face coverings, and sanitation requirements.
Newsom warned again, however, that as more businesses reopen, the danger of COVID-19 spreading will be heightened.
“We’re moving forward. We’re not looking back, but we are walking into the unknown, the untested, literally and figuratively,” he said.
“And we have to be guided by the data that brought us to this place in the first place—that is, guided by these principles of openness and transparency, principles where all of us are required to do a little bit more and little bit better, to make sure we’re [preventing] the spread of this virus as we meaningfully reopen the economy of the state.”
The reopening of hair salons and barbershops marks continued movement into Stage 3 of the state’s reopening plan. Other types of businesses in Stage 3, such as nail salons and fitness gyms, still have not been cleared to reopen.
Newsom acknowledged the demand for hair salons to reopen, with many residents sporting long hair due to the unavailability of the services. He noted that his children cut his hair over the weekend of May 23-24, and he posted a photo on Twitter of himself getting the cut.
The governor said guidance will be released on May 27 for businesses such as summer camps and child care facilities. Guidelines for film and television production had been expected to be released on May 25, but Newsom said the state is still working with industry officials and unions to finalize those plans.
The Latest Numbers in Orange County
On May 26, Orange County reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 and a jump in hospitalizations, but the death toll was unchanged at 131.
The number of people hospitalized with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus increased from 198 to 269, with the number of patients in intensive care climbing from 69 to 106.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
The total number of confirmed cases rose to 5,578, while the number of people tested for the virus since the pandemic began stood at 105,138.
Officials say 52 of the deaths come from skilled nursing facilities.
The county, meanwhile, continued moving forward with its Phase 2 reopening of businesses, including in-restaurant dining and shopping centers, after receiving the go-ahead from Newsom.
“I am extremely pleased we were able to successfully demonstrate that Orange County met the state’s requirements, and I am grateful to the state for the quick turnaround in the approval process,” county Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said.