Local hair salon owner expresses concerns amid fears stay-at-home order will go into effect

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A local hair salon owner expressed frustration with Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday, fearing her business may need to close down.

24 hours since Gov. Newsom introduced a regional stay at home order, the San Joaquin Valley Region, including Kern County, is not yet subject to restrictions laid out by the Newsom Administration.

Per Newsom’s announcement on Thursday, hair salons and barbershops in respective regions would need to close for three weeks if ICU capacity falls below 15% in that region — something Newsom indicated could occur in the San Joaquin Valley region by early December. Bars, wineries, and personal services in the region would also need to close for said duration.

If the order goes into effect, schools with waivers and critical infrastructure could remain open. Retail could remain open at 20% capacity and restaurants would be allowed to offer services only for takeout and delivery.

Nancy Balfour, co-owner of the Envy Salon and Tanning in Northwest Bakersfield, said she disagreed with the governor’s announcement.

“It is not fair and we are having to pay for what [his] stupidity is,” she said, noting her salon already has been hit hard by previous stay-at-home orders. Roughly half of the 30 people who once worked there no longer do, per Balfour. She added her business could go under if this latest stay-at-home order goes into effect.

“If we close down — who knows — we may not be able to open back up. Even if you’re working, you’re less than 50% income and it’s just not fair.”

On Thursday, the governor asked Californians to take COVID-19 seriously.

“We really need to step up,” Newsom said. “We need to meet this moment head on and do everything we can to stem the tied and bend the curve,” he continued. Responding, Balfour said she has taken the virus seriously, pointing to measures she has implemented to ensure the safety of all customers and employees.

  1. All customers and employees must wear a mask.
  2. As soon as a customer enters the salon, an employee must take the customer’s temperature.
  3. Employees and customers must clean their hands with hand sanitizer.

The salon also is equipped with curtain separators between chairs and the nail station is separated by plastic shields. Chairs also are sanitized immediately after the customer leaves.

“We have taken every option — every thing that we can think of to do,” Balfour said. “It has cost us so much. There’s no sickness coming out of here. I want [Gov. Newsom] to show me where he can say Envy Salon and Tanning had a COVID-19 patient from here.”

Taji Bacus, an independent hairdresser at Envy, said any closure will hurt him and those in his profession.

“I [am] a hairdresser that needs to work. I got to do what I got to do. But please do not close us down.”

Balfour shared a similar sentiment.

“Everybody needs to take care of the small businesses in this town because you’re trying to kill us governor, and we’re not going to let that happen.”

If the stay at home order goes into effect, businesses asked to close will have 48 hours to prepare.

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