SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — In another move this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave hair salons and barbershops the green light to reopen.
It is welcome news to struggling stylists and Californians desperate for a new do, but the timing of the decision to bring back those services is raising questions. It marks a speedy transition to stage three of the governor's reopening plan, less than a week after ending stage two.
“This is a huge step for our cities and for our lives that we'll be able to get ourselves looking great again," said Raquel Norris, hair stylist at Gallery West on 5th Avenue in San Diego.
As hair stylists across California prepare to get back to business, they are navigating the new world of extremely shielded, sanitized, and socially distanced services.
“We are prepared for this,” said Norris.
While San Diego hairstylist Raquel Norris is ready, nail salons will have to wait. They are not included in Stage 3 of the state's 4-stage plan, but they expect to return when the state receives data from the reopening of the restaurant, and hair industries.
“If we see spikes, those triggers will impact and save enough necessitate backwards none of us want that,” said Governor Newsom Tuesday.
For now though, San Diego has been going forward unexpectedly fast. It was just last week when county supervisors voted to be the test case for more rapid reopenings. The governor gave the go ahead to San Diego restaurants to serve customers, days before the rest of the state. Now he says almost every county in the state qualifies to move through reopening phases quicker.
“We are empowering our local health directors and county officials who understand their local communities and conditions better than any of us,” said Newsom.
Last month, Newsom was determined to keep the process the same for all, despite the pressure of the pandemic.
“Protests won't drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making,” he said.
Or is it?
Political analysts in Sacramento, are starting to take note.
“When political pressures are growing in different parts of the state, keeping the state unified on a single track becomes exceedingly difficult," said Political Analyst Gary Dietrich.