Coronavirus: OC nail salon adds safety measures as it waits to reopen

A nail salon in Orange County is making sure they have strict guidelines in place when customers are allowed to come back.
TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Nail salons across California are next in line to reopen in the next part of Stage 3 and many business owners have been busy preparing to open in the safest way possible.

"We're so excited! We miss our clients. We miss working. We miss talking to them on a day-to-day basis, we miss meeting new faces," said Christie Nguyen, owner of Studio 18 Nail Bar in Tustin. "Yes, when you come in it's going to be a brand new experience, but also know that everything is very, very, very sanitary. We were very sanitary to begin with, we always went above and beyond what the board required, now even more so."

To start, when you come in, your temperature will be checked and you'll sign a waiver before being required to wash your hands. Each technician will also be required to wash their hands between each client. Every other pedicure chair will be used to practice physical distancing, putting them at 50% capacity. For acrylic service, there are sneeze guards up as extra protection, although some salons have them up at their spa chairs.

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"With those, there's already shields made for those that fit perfectly," Nguyen said. "For us it's a little bit different because we have these lounge chairs, and so our technicians are going to have the face shields, so they'll have the face mask and a face shield, and then the client will have a face mask, so that will be the barrier between the two."

Nguyen is also one of the founders of the group "Nailing It for America," which formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and eventually morphed into an advocacy group for nail salons after Gov. Gavin Newsom said COVID-19 started spreading in a nail salon, forcing them to prove their safety more than other businesses.

"There are a group of people that we do have to prove ourselves to and we have no problem in doing so, it just adds an extra layer of stress in a sense, but it's not something we can't overcome," she said.

Despite a new experience, they say they'll be giving the same self-care they've always provided their customers.

"We just need to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe, and then we'll try to make the experience as luxurious and relaxing because everybody deserves it," said Nguyen.

Once the governor gives the green light, Studio 18 Nail Bar will open in the 24-36 hours after the announcement.
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