California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday identified nail salons on the West Coast as the source of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
"This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon," Newsom said in a press conference on Friday. "I'm very worried about that."
Health officials know that the virus is spread very efficiently by touching the eyes, nose and mouth with hands covered in virus particles. The virus is also spread by coughing or sneezing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged people to wash their hands before touching their faces.
Newsom announced a four-phase plan to reopen the state's economy that begins Friday, May 8. But nail salons in California won't be allowed to reopen until phase 3.
Newsom said the state will allow some business to reopen, including bookstores, warehouses, florists, etc. But that doesn't sit well with nail salons owners.
On nail salon owner was "shocked" by Newsom's comments about her industry. She said she hasn't heard from any health officials saying the outbreak started in nail salons.
"Had they known that this was the situation, absolutely zero information was ever sent to any nail care people in the industry at all," said Michelle Saunders James, owner of Saunders and James Nail Care in Oakland.
Saunders James is concerned that Newsom's remarks will keep people away from nail salons. She employs 12 nail techs in her salon which opened in January and has been closed since mid-March.
She said she's stocking up on disinfectants and personal protection equipment in anticipation of reopening sometime in June.