First Californian to get coronavirus in community spread was infected at a nail salon, Newsom says


The first person in California to contract the coronavirus through community spread caught the virus in a nail salon, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

Newsom cited the case when asked why personal services, such as nail salons, must remain closed even as the state starts to slowly open businesses.

“This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon. I just want to remind everybody of that and that I’m very worried about that,” Newsom said during his daily COVID-19 briefing in Sacramento.


Newsom said the transmission of the virus occurred despite the fact that most nail salons already had safeguards in place before the coronavirus hit, including the used of face masks and gloves.

He did not provide further details, including when the exposure occurred and where.

In February, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the first community spread case of coronavirus occurred in Solano County. At the time, officials said it was not clear how the person became infected, but public health workers could not identify any contacts with people who had traveled to China or other areas where the virus is widespread.

More recently, officials have said the first known U.S. death from coronavirus occurred in Santa Clara County in February. The San Jose woman died Feb. 6.