Governors: Nail salons, hairdressers, and barbershops must close due to coronavirus fears

Posted at 11:03 PM, Mar 18, 2020

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

By order of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, all nail salons, hairdressers and barbershops in both states are now closed to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. Unlike restaurants, who can provide curbside pickup for food, there's not a way for most salons and barbershops to supplement their income.

"This is my everything," said Salon Two Thirteen stylist Mallory Nachbar. "This is my dream job."

That dream has turned into a nightmare for the Hyde Park stylist.

"We were watching live the governor and listening, because Kentucky got shut down yesterday, so we were just waiting for us," Nachbar said. "We just heard him say all salons and barbers are shut down."

What comes next for thousands across the state remains to been seen. Right now, some say even filing for unemployment can be hard.

"I actually tried to log on to unemployment today and I got kicked out of the website," Nachbar said. "I would assume there's going to be a very long delay."

More: Here's how to apply for unemployment in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana

"They are beyond family," Pure Concept Salon and Spa owner Renee O'Rourke-Heidrich said. "We are with them more than your family sometimes."

O'Rourke-Heidrich, who is also the sister of WCPO news anchor Tanya O'Rourke, has between 50 and 65 employees depending on the time of year.

"I have over a dozen people who are single-income so this is it," O'Rourke-Heidrich said. "So, it's very scary for them."

She decided to close two weeks before DeWine made his announcement, but now she doesn't know exactly how long they'll be closed.

"I was face-to-face with the people who it was going to make a big difference the moment I said we were shutting down," O'Rourke-Heidrich said. "That was the hardest thing I've had to do in a very long time. More so, because I know the moment I said that I was changing their life."

DeWine also ordered the shutdown of all but five of the state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles, closed facilities that provide driving tests and instructed Ohio State Highway Patrol not to issue tickets for those whose licenses expire during the pandemic.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH, Cincinnati's Health Department hotline: 513-357-7462
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 45 countries across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.
The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.