Need a Haircut? You Might Be Able to Get One (Published 2020) (2023)


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California Today

Wednesday: Like many services, it depends on where you live. Also: Testing continues to be a vexing puzzle, as does sheltering with others.

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By Jill Cowan

Good morning.

(Here’s the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today delivered to your inbox.)

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom showed off his newly shorn non-mullet and a new, slightly more permissive stance toward the crowded beaches, parks and trails that Californians probably encountered over the long weekend.

“We are moving forward,” he said, “But let us not forget the most vulnerable among us.”

While he thanked his children for what he has said was a much-needed haircut, the governor noted that they did not take the precautions the state laid out to allow hair salons and barber shops in 47 counties to reopen.

“Our families will have to read these guidelines as well,” he said.

The directives are similar to ones in place for other industries: Wear masks, stay distant when possible. Wash your hands frequently. Workers should be screened for symptoms.

The announcement was yet another incremental step toward a fully open California, but it was also one in which Mr. Newsom seemed to move closer to handing the reins to county public health officials.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he said, 47 of the state’s 58 counties had filed their “county variance attestations,” to prove that they meet the state’s criteria to reopen more quickly than the rest of the state.

[See which California counties have the most coronavirus cases.]

But on Monday, the state officials announced that places of worship across the state could reopen at lower capacity — only with the approval of their county public health department.

More on California

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  • Remaking a River: Taming the Los Angeles River helped Los Angeles emerge as a global megalopolis, but it also left a gaping scar across the territory. Imagining the river’s future poses new challenges.
  • APiece of Black History Destroyed: Lincoln Heights — a historically Black community in a predominantly white, rural county in Northern California — endured for decades. Then came the Mill fire.
  • Employee Strike: In one of the nation’s biggest strikes in recent years, teaching assistants, researchers and other workers across the University of California system walked off the jobto demand higher pay.

And on Tuesday, Mr. Newsom said that he’d been talking with leaders in Los Angeles County, by most measures the hardest-hit part of the state, about the possibility of allowing some parts of the county to reopen more quickly than others.

That, however, is still just a possibility.

In more tangible developments for residents of the state’s most populous county, where a stricter stay-at-home order is still in place, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday evening that “lower risk” in-store shopping could resume, many pools could open and houses of worship could avail themselves of the new state guidelines.

In Orange County, Sheriff Don Barnes said his office wouldn’t enforce the state’s rules restricting how many people can attend church services, according to The Orange County Register.

And in Placer County, The Sacramento Bee reported that leaders sent a letter to the governor asking to be allowed to reopen higher-risk businesses like movie theaters, gyms and nail salons, which aren’t included in the hair-cutting guidelines.

In conclusion, if you’re confused about what’s open where, check your county’s website or this helpful tracker from The Los Angeles Times.

And hang tight: Things are changing day by day.

[Read more about California’s phased reopening process.]

Here’s what else to know today

We often link to sites that limit access for nonsubscribers. We appreciate your reading Times coverage, but we also encourage you to support local news if you can.


  • What role should employers play in testing workers? It’s complicated, and there are a lot of options. [The New York Times]

Also, Los Angeles set up a site with the capacity to test 6,000 Angelenos for free each day in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. Sign up for an appointment here.

But if you missed it, testing won’t fix everything. [The New York Times]

  • At least 153 workers at a Vernon meatpacking plant have gotten Covid-19. Their union called for the facility to be closed immediately. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Los Angeles County will soon have an inspector general to oversee nursing home operations. The role, officials said, is aimed at addressing outbreaks at the facilities. [KPCC/LAist]

The move follows reporting by The Times and other local news outlets, including KPCC/LAist, about disparities in the deadliness of outbreaks in such facilities. [The New York Times | LAist]

  • A common thread running through at least four companies the governor has tapped to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic? A single Sacramento lobbyist. But whether he helped those companies secure big contracts can remain a secret. [CalMatters]

  • Mayor London Breed of San Francisco has consistently said the city doesn’t “do sweeps” of homeless encampments, but a trove of text messages shows she ordered them directly. [Mission Local]

  • The fire over the weekend at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco will devastate the city’s seafood industry. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Quarantinis, Zoom happy hours, spiking alcohol sales: Experts are worried that the pandemic is pushing more people to form unhealthy drinking habits. [The New York Times]

  • In California, the “experience economy” has become huge: Coachella and other big music festivals take over desert cities every year, while Instagram museums and ax-throwing bars have found customers. But now, those businesses — and their employees — are confronting a bleak future. [The New York Times]

  • Nevertheless, theme parks like Legoland in Carlsbad and SeaWorld are working to reopen on July 1. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

  • But what about Vegas? [The New York Times]

  • Officials for the Oakland A’s said the team would institute widespread furloughs, following similar moves by other teams that have been struggling amid the pandemic. [The Mercury News]

  • For Sacramentans, floating the American River is a summertime staple. Here’s how to do it responsibly. [CapRadio]

And Finally …


A little while ago, my colleagues on the Style desk asked readers who were sheltering in place alone how they were faring. Some were coping, managing. Some were thriving.

Now, they want to explore how your relationships have changed in lockdown. Are you learning new things about your partner, seeing them for the first time in work mode?

Perhaps you and your roommates have discovered habits that, er, frustrate one another. Or maybe you’ve bonded in ways you didn’t expect.

If you’re willing to share, answer some questions here. And we’ll publish some of the responses.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, went to school at U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.


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