Oklahoma began allowing nail salons to reopen on April 24, 2020.

  • A nail salon in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, said an employee tested positive for Covid-19 - just days after it reopened.
  • "We have received a positive Covid-19 test from a staff member who was in the salon on May 5-7," The Nailspot said in a May 13 Facebook post. "If you were in the salon on these days you could have been potentially exposed."
  • Oklahoma allowed nail salons and other "personal contact" businesses to reopen on April 24.
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The Nailspot opened its doors for the first time in weeks on 5 May. Just over a week later, the beauty parlor in northeast Oklahoma is closing them again after an employee was infected with the coronavirus.

"We have received a positive Covid-19 test from a staff member who was in the salon on May 5-7," the Bartlesville shop announced in a May 13 post on Facebook. "If you were in the salon on these days you could have been potentially exposed."

It's not clear where the employee contracted the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease known as Covid-19.

"Washington County Health Department recommends that any customer that was in the salon during this time self-isolate for 14 days and if symptoms arise to contact Washington County Health Dept for further information and instruction," the salon wrote in its Facebook post. Nailspot plans to reopen on 26 May.

Oklahoma was one of the first states to begin reopening its economy during the pandemic, with Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, allowing salons, spas, and pet groomers to resume service on 24 April.

Restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters followed suit on 1 May.

In California, by contrast, authorities have refused to allow nail salons, in particular, to reopen.

"This whole thing started in the state of California, the first community spread, in a nail salon," Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed in a 7 May address. "I just want to remind everybody of that and that I'm very worried about that," he added, though - to the consternation of salon owners - he did not provide supporting evidence.

Oklahoma's guidelines on reopening call for increased handwashing at such "personal contact" establishments, noting that "[r]emaining six feet apart as in other businesses is not possible".

The guidelines do not call for either employees or customers to wear masks, suggesting only that employees consider wearing them "if the customer requests."

In a 3 May post announcing its plans to reopen, the salon suggested that clients bring their own masks. "If you do not have one, we will try to provide you with one," it said.

At least 284 people have died from Covid-19 in Oklahoma, according to the state government. Six new deaths were announced 14 May, down from nine fatalities announced May 5, when The Nailspot reopened - the same number of deaths announced April 24, when salons were legally permitted to resume business.

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