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Local businesses concerned about another shutdown after county lands on state covid watchlist

JUS-N-TYME barbershop shares concerns about another possible shutdown
Posted at 1:44 AM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 04:45:47-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The Kern County Public Health Department announced on Saturday that the county is back on Governor Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 monitoring watchlist.

This comes after the county had 495 new positive cases on Saturday, leaving many businesses concerned about another shutdown.

Clifford Cole and Justin Kindred are the owners of JUS-N-TYME barbershop in Central Bakersfield.

The owners recently moved to this address back in March around the beginning of the pandemic.

They were forced to stop services and never had a chance to have an official opening for their new location.

"Business-wise it's been stressful, it's been anxiety-driven and destructive," said Cole.

Now, their concerns are growing that they may have to stop all services again. Currently, they are taking appointments only and implementing safety protocols.

"I don’t think too much of anyone can survive in a business like this," Kindred said. "I don’t think anyone can keep going if there is a second, third, and fourth [shut down]. I don’t think anyone can keep playing that game."

On Thursday during a press conference, health officials addressed then the possibility of this happening. Attributing the uptick in cases, to labs facing a backlog.

"Yes, there is a high probability that we will be on that list," said Ryan Alsop, Chief Administrative Officer. "Once the state informs us that we have been added back to the monitoring list the governor's new restrictions for those new businesses will apply for Kern County. They will apply indefinitely until he says otherwise."

23ABC reached out to the Kern County Public Health Department asking what this could mean for the county being added back to the COVID-19 watchlist.

Michelle Corson, Public Information Officer for the department and said the following, via email.

“Today Kern, was flagged as not meeting the state’s metrics. If we have three consecutive days of not meeting these metrics, we then get on the state’s website watch list. Once we’re on that list for three days, it’s our understanding that the new restrictions would apply to Kern, which would be effective on July 24."

As uncertainty looms for many, JUS-N-TYME barbershop has this message for officials.

"Communicate, this is our lives this isn’t politics. Do what’s best for the people and community," said Cole.