San Luis Obispo county hair salons, barbershops and places of worship can begin reopening, according to a May 26 press release from the city of San Luis Obispo.

In-person religious services were granted an allowance for reopening on May 25, and hair salons and barbershops on May 26.

“We’re pleased to announce that our County Public Health Department has approved modified in-person religious service and hair salon and barbershop services,” County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said in the press release.

These three businesses must still adhere to safety regulations with limited services and modifications to their normal operations. 

Places of worship are only allowed attendance of 25 percent of their total capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever guarantees the lowest number of attendees.

The county is still encouraging online services and activities to be offered by places of worship in order to protect high-risk attendees.

Hair salons and barbershops are allowed to offer any service that ensures that customers and employees wear face coverings. Any service that requires removal of a face covering is not permitted.

Nail salons, spas and businesses that offer massages are not permitted to open.

Each individual business must complete and sign the county’s “Ready to Reopen” toolkit before offering in-person services. The toolkit acts as a self-evaluation for the businesses to ensure they are following proper safety protocols.

Once the business is allowed to reopen, San Luis Obispo County offers them downloadable “open and safe” signs for them to hang on their business.

San Luis Obispo County is in stage two of reopening, which is aimed at opening “lower-risk workplaces,” according to the county’s emergency response website.

Stage two of reopening began May 20, which initiated with opening in-store retail, dine-in restaurants and modifications for schools such as summer camps and daycares.

Although places of worship are open, religious schools are still required to stay closed due to the California order.

Starting June 1, county libraries will be allowed to offer curbside services at the San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Arroyo Grande county libraries.

The county is following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Resilience Roadmap and must meet state criteria before advancing through the reopening process. 

In order for San Luis Obispo County to move further through stage two, there must be less than a 5 percent daily change in COVID-19  hospitalizations or no more than 20 COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day in the past two weeks. There must also be less than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, or less than 8 percent testing positive in the past week.

As San Luis Obispo County has met both of these criteria, progressing through stage two has been possible.

Cal Poly President Jefferey Armstrong said in a press conference May 18 that if San Luis Obispo County is still in stage two in August, Cal Poly may wait two to four weeks to start the quarter to see if it is possible to offer in-person classes.

But, if San Luis Obispo County progresses to stage three and Cal Poly can offer widespread COVID-19 testing, in-person classes may be offered in the fall.

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