(KTXL) — While local officials in smaller communities are clamoring for the governor to reopen businesses, some are ignoring COVID-19 restrictions and opening their doors anyway.
In Marysville, it would look like Uppercut Barbershop is the only shop in town — and in some ways it is.
From day one of the stay-at-home order, the shop has remained open.
“We’re here to stand up and fight for our freedom and our rights and our liberties here on the U.S. soil is pretty much what we’re doing,” said owner Randy Mitchell.
It’s gotten the attention of more than just loyal customers. Last month, it got a visit from police officers.
“They basically told me that I can go to jail and I told them, ‘Take me to jail then,’” said Mitchell. “And they said, ‘We’re not going to do that. We just want to give you a citation.’ So on my citation, I just signed, ‘Reserve all rights. USA.’”
Mitchell said he has no ill will against those who choose to stay home. He explained that he’s not open to the public and keeps doors locked except for customers who make appointments and also feel they have the right to take risks.
“I believe it’s my choice and I believe what he stands for. Small businesses have a right to be open and serve the community,” said customer Tim Chandler.
Noelle Pollastrini, who owns the Theory Hair Studio in Cameron Park, did follow public health orders. She shut down at the worst possible time.
“We just bought a home a month ago and then 10 days later I had to close my doors,” said Pollastrini.
Frustrated at not getting any financial help from the government, she reopened last week after local officials told her they were unlikely to enforce the lockdown.
“You get nothing in return when you need help,” said Pollastrini. “You get to the point to where you’re ready to take the risk and do it.”
The response was so positive she’s been working 12- and 14-hour days since opening. Customers go in one at a time and everyone in the salon wears a mask.
“I’m spraying down everything in between every single client. Soaking my tools with a hospital-grade disinfectant,” said Pollastrini. “They are safer coming here than going to the grocery store, to be honest.”
The urge to defy the order is seen mostly in smaller communities where infections appear to be scarce. Many local officials are echoing what some business owners already believe.
“Our count has been so low in this county that it’s time to reopen,” said Pollastrini. “It’s time for businesses to get back in and reopen.”
The California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology issued a statement Friday regarding the opening of businesses.
The Board urges licensees to follow the stay at home orders. If businesses continue to put public health and safety at risk by not following the guidance provided, and if circumstances warrant it, the Board may pursue disciplinary action against their license. This will not be taken lightly.California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology