Hair services to open indoors in Alameda County, updated health orders take effect Friday

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- California's new four-tiered reopening system is putting many Alameda County establishments back in business.

Christine Palmer owns Flaunt Hair Designs in Pleasanton. Her shop hasn't seen a customer since March.

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Palmer has spent the last six months, focused on developing new operating producers for safe service during the pandemic.

"When you come in, you get a temperature check. You get a screening. You have to have a mask on," she said. "And yes, you have to have an appointment and each stylist can only have one client in the salon at a time."

Alameda County published eight pages worth of guidance- new rules, restrictions and standards for hair salons and barber shops.

Palmer is making sure her staff is fully familiar and prepared, before reopening next Tuesday.

Meantime, she plans to push forward with demands that the county view the service industry as something more essential.

"I'm still going to be pushing for regrouping," she said. "Because right now, they have us grouped with bars, restaurants and family entertainment. It's ridiculous."

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When ABC7 News connected with Palmer on Thursday, she was in Wyoming. She explained she'd visited several out-of-state salons to see how they've been able to operate indoors during the pandemic.
"I just go to the salons. I have a set list of questions that I ask them, and then I put that interview out on Facebook," she explained. "The key question is always, 'Have you had any transmissions?' And always... 'No.'"

Over in Oakland, In the Groove Studios is taking their dance classes outside. The county's new order allows them to operate as outdoor, non-contact fitness classes.

However, the studio doesn't have a private lot. So they're opting for public spaces like Frank Ogawa plaza.

Co-owner, Daniel Kang admitted the plaza doesn't leave much room for controlled safety and privacy. Adding, reopening plans could mean renting an outdoor space.

"Even then, we still have to think about costs. Like, how much is that going to cost? And are we going to be able to sustain that, at the same time still pay rent for this building that we're not utilizing," Kang shared.

With classes moving outdoors, he said the studio has not been charging its clients.

"Because it is in a public space, it just doesn't feel right to have a surcharge for class, when it's just out in the public and anyone can just show up," he added.

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For the last few months, the dance studio has relied on donations through a Go Fund Me campaign to stay afloat.

"The community really came through and helped us with that," he told ABC7 News. "Now we're in September. So, it's kind of like we're back at square one again. Right now, it's up in the air. I don't want to say that we're going to close. But, you know, I mean, anything could happen from now until whenever COVID is over."

Beyond haircuts and choreography, the county is also green lighting mini-golf, batting cages and more.

Boomers in Livermore told ABC7 News, they plan to reopen in the next week or so.

However, shared playgrounds, ball pits and bounce houses will remain closed.

Nail, skin care and waxing services must only operate outdoors.

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