The first recorded instance of coronavirus community spread in California was tracked to a nail salon, Gov. Gavin Newson said Thursday.
The governor made the revelation as he explained why Golden State manicurists aren’t slated to reopen Friday, when other businesses, including clothiers, sporting-goods stores and florists will resume limited operations.
“This whole thing started in the state of California — the first community spread — in a nail salon,” Newsom said during his daily briefing. “I’m very worried about that.”
The governor announced on Monday the move to the Phase 2 reopening of California’s giant economy. Nail salons and other personal care services won’t be able to reopen until a yet-unannounced Phase 3.
“It’s certainly informed me that many of the practices that you would otherwise expect of a modification were already in play in many of these salons with people that had procedure masks on, were using gloves and advancing higher levels of sanitation,” Newsom said.
Newsom didn’t say where or when this earliest-reported community spread occurred.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously said that the first community spread of COVID-19 in the US happened in Solano County in mid-February.
It’s unclear if the nail salon case that Newsom mentioned involved that same patient, who had not recently traveled outside the country.
Last month, officials discovered the first US fatality of COVID-19 had occurred in Santa Clara County weeks before the first deaths in the country were reported Feb. 26 in a suburb of Seattle.
The Feb. 6 death of Patricia Dowd, 57, of San Jose was not related to the nail salon, the Santa Clara County Health Department told local outlet KTVU.