Contra Costa County allows gyms, nail salons and massage services to reopen outdoors
Contra Costa County will allow gyms, nail salons and massage services to reopen for outside business Friday, but health officials cautioned that smoke from Northern California’s wildfires may create unhealthy air.
“Based on what we are able to see, we can be cautiously optimistic that there is a gradual downward trend in county cases, testing positivity rates and hospitalizations,” Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer, said Wednesday in a statement. “We need everyone to understand this is a reason to keep up what we are doing and not let down our guards.”
The new order also will permit hotels and short-term rentals to reopen for personal travel, not only essential business.
Farnitano said the seven-day average of the number of patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped slightly and the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive has declined from 8.8% on Aug. 6 to 7.4% on Monday.
Contra Costa County remains on California’s monitoring list, however, and state restrictions limit what can be reopened.
Eight California counties have slowed the spread of the coronavirus but are unable to reopen businesses until Gov. Gavin Newsom releases new guidelines.
A series of wildfires has polluted Bay Area air for several days, and Farnitano urged businesses to take into account air quality before offering outdoor services. The county has issued a health order warning residents to stay inside when there is heavy smoke.
Hair salons and barbers have been open for outdoor business since late last month, and county officials said the services have not been linked to any COVID-19 outbreaks. The latest order covers all personal-care services that do not require close contact with the face.
One factor used to determine reopenings in a county is the number of cases per 100,000 people. The goal is to keep new cases under 100 per 100,000 residents over 14 days.
Over the last 14 days, Contra Costa County reported an average of 278 new cases per 100,000 residents as of Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times’ coronavirus tracker.
County officials say key health indicators remain at “dangerously high levels” and residents should continue to wear face coverings and socially distance in an effort to stem the spread of the illness.
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