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Vacaville barber defies state health order, license may be suspended

"Unless the State of California wants to chop my hands off, I don't think there's anything they can do from stopping me from cutting hair," Juan Desmarais said.

VACAVILLE, Calif. — A Vacaville barbershop owner said he's taking a stand against the state COVID-19 health order to wear masks inside of businesses.

Juan Desmarais, owner of Primo's barbershop, said he nor his clients wear masks. California currently requires barbers and customers to wear masks while inside barbershops and salons.

"None of our families have come down with COVID-19. None of our clients have [either]," he said. 

Desmarais is currently facing a possible suspension of his barber's license after the state said he defied local health orders by operating Primo's Barbershop in Vacaville this spring when salons were ordered to close because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. 

He received a cease and desist order earlier this month and went to court Friday to contest the order and make his case. 

"If I'm stripped of my license, I'm still going to be a barber. I still have the skill, unless the State of California wants to chop my hands off, I don't think there's anything they can do from stopping me from cutting hair," he said. 

Desmarais said he took a stand for his four stores, his family and for other barbers. 

"I did it for our whole entire industry," he emphasized. 

He hopes the state sees his side of the story, but he won't know the decision for another five days. 

"To be honest, I have no idea how she is going to rule," he said. 

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