LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A nail salon in North Hollywood struggling to stay afloat remains open to customers, despite the need to close a nationwide health decision.
When the Laque Nail Bar closed for the first time in March, owner Robert Torosian decided to get certified as a biohazard cleaning technician so he knows the best and safest ways to reopen it.
"We examined everything from NASA to surgery centers in Germany to find out how they keep everything sterile and disinfected," said Torosian.
Torosian not only invested in a non-contact temperature test, but also spent $ 30,000 on air purification systems, UV disinfection lights, and special antimicrobial paints.
Client CC Boyle said she felt comfortable hearing about all security measures.
"Before COVID, they were the cleanest, they took care not to reuse them, many places reuse objects, reuse utensils, they don't do that here," said Boyle.
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In mid-June, the nail salons were reopened in Los Angeles County. However, due to the increase in coronavirus cases, it was short-lived. On July 13, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all counties on the state's surveillance list – currently number 32 – to shut down hairdressing and nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, shopping malls, and places of worship. This includes the entire Southland region and approximately 80% of the California population.
According to the law, California salons are to be operated indoors. Torosian says his license and insurance do not allow them to move outdoors and he does not want to. He said the only way to stay in business and keep his employees running is to keep his internal operations open.
"There's no infection control outside, there's no way to disinfect, proper health and safety protocols," he said.
So he will continue to bring customers into the house, even though he knows that this is against the rules.
"At this point, it's not about profits or profitability, it's hardly about trying to survive," said Torosian.
The state released new guidelines for personal care services that want to move outside on Monday afternoon, including the requirement that all companies have a canopy or tent with no more than one side.