Personal care services in non-health care settings – such as spas, nail salons, massage therapy and body art facilities – in San Luis Obispo County may soon reopen with modifications.

California health officials issued new COVID-19 industry guidance on Monday for reopening for the personal care services industry in “variance counties,” which includes San Luis Obispo County.

According to the State, only California counties whose Public Health Officers have attested to their readiness to reopen will be allowed to reopen these additional industries with modifications no sooner than Friday, June 19, pending the review of the local health officer.

“It’s good to see State release reopening guidance for more industries,” said County Public Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein. “I appreciate the community’s patience as I review the State guidance and local health data prior to approving the reopening of these industries locally. I urge personal care businesses to review the State guidance at ReadySLO.org and take the necessary steps to ensure that they can reopen very soon.”

The new State guidance addresses facials, electrolysis, waxing, skin care, cosmetology services, nail salon services, body art, tattoos, piercings, and massage therapy in non-healthcare settings. As with other industries that have reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the personal care services industry across the state may not reopen until the local Health Officer approves the sector’s reopening after reviewing the State guidance in the context of current local public health conditions.

In the meantime, business owners and managers can review the relevant industry guidance at ReadySLO.org, conduct a risk assessment, and self-certify that they are ready to reopen safely.

As has always been the case with the coronavirus, thing change rapidly. Just before press time, more rules were updated.

The State Public Health Department released updated guidance for activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, including places of worship, religious services and cultural ceremonies, and other constitutionally protected activities, such as the right to protest.

These activities that take place outdoors no longer have an attendance cap as long as strict physical distancing measures are in place.

“Exercising our right to peacefully protest and attend church is an inherent American value,” said Borenstein. “However, let’s all remember the health and safety precautions we each need to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

While the new State guidance lifts attendance caps for outdoor First Amendment activities, the number of individuals attending an indoor religious service or protest is still capped at 100 people or 25 percent of a building’s capacity, whichever is less. Strict physical distancing policies should also be in place.

This new State guidance replaces the one issued in May and does not obligate places of worship to resume in-person activity. It is strongly recommended that places of worship continue to facilitate remote services and other related activities for those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 including older adults and those with co-morbidities.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms include fatigue, body aches, chills, sore throat, and may include runny nose or diarrhea. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Anyone with these symptoms should get tested at one of the many no-cost testing sites throughout the County.