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Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines on personal care services that will allow for barbershops and hair salons to reopen, if they move their services outside.

The news comes after Newsom ordered salons to close in all counties on the state’s watch list of increasing coronavirus cases on Monday, July 13. Salons had been closed since March and reopened in May.

“The good news is we now have new guidelines out on the website clarifying what we can and can’t do as it relates to haircuts and activities that we want to move from indoors to outdoors for personal care services industry,” said Newsom. “It turned out, without getting into too many details, that issues of chemicals and shampoos and perms were more complicated than some had considered, particularly as relates to local ordinances and rules and regulations. So we worked through that over the last couple of days.”

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) wrote a letter to Newsom last week about the state’s rules on outdoor hair salons and barbershop services

“I write with deep concern regarding the closing of all operations of barbershops and hair salons in counties on the County Monitoring List,” said Petrie-Norris. “These struggling small businesses have been good partners in meeting the requirements of recent health orders, and the State needs to provide an opportunity for modified outdoor operations for these businesses.”

Petrie-Norris said the California Department of Public Health’s July 13 guidance allowed salons to operate outdoors. But the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology said all barbering and cosmetology services “within the specified counties must close immediately and not offer any services,” including outdoor services.

As a result, all barbershops and hair salons would need to shut down and not offer any outdoor services. The new guidance issued Monday, July 20 says outdoor services are permitted if patrons and stylists wear masks and meet other safety requirements. Permitted services include skin care, cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy.

King’s Club Barbershop is located at 34085 La Plaza, Dana Point. Photo: File

The state reported 6,846 new coronavirus infections over the last 24-hour period and a 7-day average of 8,911 daily cases. California has totaled more than 390,000 COVID-19 cases, and more than 7,700 deaths.

Newsom noted during the press conference that California was administering an average of over 124,000 tests per day over the past week and that the state’s 14-day positivity rate was steadying at 7.4%.

“But, again, no one is satisfied being north of 7%, and we got close to 8% last week,” said Newsom. “These numbers can change very, very quickly depending on our personal behavior, the sum total of which will determine the direction of the lines on this graph and, ultimately, the direction of our ability to reopen the economy and get our schools back open as all of us so desperately look forward to.”

The state is reporting a 16% increase in hospitalizations; however, Newsom noted the rate of increase had declined from 50% two weeks ago.

To date, Orange County has reported 29,986 cases and 493 COVID-19-related deaths.

Orange County did see improvements in the California Department of Public Health’s threshold categories over the weekend.

The county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dropped slightly from last week to 13.2%, which is still above the CDPH threshold of 8%. The county’s case rate per 100,000 people also dropped to 192 but still remains well above the state threshold of 25. Those thresholds are what keep Orange County on the state’s monitoring list. Orange County has 41% of its ICU beds available and 61.5% of its ventilators currently available, both remain above the respective state thresholds of 20% and 25%. The county’s hospitalizations continued last week’s drop and saw the three-day hospitalization increase average move to minus-4.3%, also well below the state threshold of 10%.

Locally as of Monday, July 20, San Clemente has had 267 cases with three deaths, Dana Point has had 155 cases with no deaths, San Juan Capistrano has had 211 cases with three deaths and Rancho Mission Viejo has had 42 cases with less than five deaths. For children under 17 years old, San Clemente has had 11 cases, Dana Point has had 8 cases, San Juan Capistrano has had 16 cases and Rancho Mission Viejo has had 6 cases.

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