LA County Health Officials Could Allow Personal Care Services to Reopen Indoors Friday

Higher than average COVID-19 case rates prevent LA County from moving out of the most restrictive purple tier anytime soon. However, the health department could change its health order as early as Friday to allow for personal care services for tattoo, massage and waxing to reopen indoors.

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Tankamon George checked her voicemails Wednesday night at the Sherman Oaks massage business she owns with her husband.

“More than 20 customers call, but we can’t open,” said George, who also sifted through a pile of bills.

Their business, Angel’s Massage, is on the brink of bankruptcy like many other personal care businesses in Los Angeles County, which are still closed under the county’s most restrictive COVID-19 tier.

“If they weren’t going to open by the end of this month, we were going to call it quits,” said her husband Robert.

Wednesday’s announcement from LA County health officials came not a moment too soon. An updated health order, which could come Friday, could allow personal services including for tattoo, waxing and massage to reopen indoors.

“That would be nice, but right now, I kind of don’t trust them because they did this to us last time,” said Robert, who admits he doesn't want to get his hopes up.

"They turned right around and shut us all down again.”

Rachel Bennett, an aesthetician in Woodland Hills, set up a new waxing salon set up the past few months -- an outdoor tent. But she said she can’t wait to move back inside. She explained, indoors is where her line of work should be.

“Really, our license is we are not supposed to be outside,” said Bennett.

“It’s not a controllable space to know how clean it is."

For the past several months, personal services can only be performed outdoors, or indoors with a doctor’s note, in LA County.

“It’s very hard — chiropractors got to open and we didn't,” said George.

Massage business owners like the Georges feel their services are just as essential.

“It’s like you’re seeing your whole life go down the drain, everything you dreamt about--your business.”

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