Washington man drives 600 miles to California for haircut amid coronavirus restrictions

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A Washington man says he drove more than 600 miles to California for a haircut after seeing a friend’s social media post about getting a trim at a time when most barbers and hair salons are closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

J Farr, 28, was social distancing in his Olympia apartment when he saw that an old friend from his hometown in Yuba City, Calif., north of Sacramento, was able to go to a barbershop, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Barbershops and hair salons remain closed in Washington state and most of California. Local officials in Yuba and Sutter counties allowed these businesses to reopen ahead of the state’s plan, according to the paper.

After Farr learned that Butte House Barber Shop in Sutter County was open for business, he told the paper he jumped in his car and began his journey. He arrived last week to a busy shop, saying it was the first time in three months that he had this type of social interaction.

“It’s a really good feeling to feel like there’s other people in the world who aren’t going to sit inside in fear when there’s nothing to be afraid of,” Farr said.

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The owner of the barbershop, 42-year-old Wes Heryford, told the paper that haircuts are in high demand and clients have driven hours to his shop from places as far as San Francisco, Fresno and even out of state.

“There’s not very many options and people are excited that there is someone cutting hair, so they have no problem to drive three or four hours to come see us,” Heryford said.

Heryford told the paper he isn’t requiring staff or customers to wear masks, although he follows other strict health measures like sanitizing tools between customers.

Yuba and Sutter counties have a combined 59 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, according to state health data. The entire state has reported 80,430 confirmed cases and 3,302 deaths.

However, the state has yet to give the green light for barbershops and hair salons to resume operations even as 21 counties, including Yuba-Sutter, entered Phase 2 of the government’s reopening plan last week.

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The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology told the paper it has received more than 800 complaints of shops violating the “stay-at-home” order and warned that it may pursue disciplinary action against offenders.

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