Roxboro salon shut down by police after reopening despite stay-at-home order

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Triangle hairstylist reopens shop despite governor's stay-at-home order
Wesley and her clients could face a class II misdemeanor charge for violating an executive order. She could also lose her license.

ROXBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Jessica Wesley owns The Room hair salon in Roxboro. Wednesday, she announced she would ignore Gov. Roy Cooper's stay-at-home order and reopen her salon Thursday.

"I'm not a big fan people telling me what to do," Wesley said. "Making me do something that takes away something that I have worked my fanny off for years, it doesn't sit well with me."

Cooper's order is currently set to expire May 8, and businesses like The Room would not be allowed to reopen until Phase 2 of Cooper's plan to reopen, which at the earliest could come late next month.

THE LATEST: COVID-19 updates in North Carolina

"I got my Clorox spray, my disinfectant wipes, my barbercide wipes. I have all of the things I am supposed to do to keep people healthy," Wesley said, adding that she'll be the only one in the shop, styling one head at a time and wearing a mask if asked.

The mom of two made the announcement on Facebook live that her clients have already booked appointments.

Some people on her page expressed concern, but the majority were in support.

One commenter said, "You go girl."

Another said, "Keep in mind you could be fined."

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Thursday morning, Wesley said she did a few men's cuts before Roxboro Police Department officers walked in. ABC11 was in the salon as Roxboro officers came to ask Wesley to close her business.

"I understand what you're trying to do, I really do, but there are laws in place for this exact kind of thing that we have to abide by and enforce," an officer said. "We really, really want you to voluntarily comply with this."

Wesley said she understood and added, "I feel like we've gotten our point across. So let's just call it quits. My point is made, and I appreciate it."

The officer stressed the need for voluntary compliance in the City of Roxboro, adding, "nobody's coming in here trying to slap handcuffs on anyone."

By opening Thursday, Wesley and her clients risked a class II misdemeanor charge for violating an executive order. She also could lose her license.

Lynda Elliott, Executive Director of the State Board of Cosmetic Arts said she contacted Wesley today about violating the order.

"The Governor could always ask us to take a look at her violation and take out additional action," Elliott said. "I'm not saying we definitely would or would not, because we don't take actions on misdemeanors for any other crime that might occur."

Elliott said Wesley would go through due process with the board if action was taken. The last license the board revoked was in January--an individual was selling cosmetology hours and was accused of fraud.

Wesley said she would comply with the governor's order at this time. "I really wanted to be open and I really wanted this to go a different way, but there's a point where you've already made your point and you just kind of stand back and say, 'I did it,'" Wesley said.

Wesley said she would apply for government assistance, adding "I'm going to go about this the right way."

Wesley said she would apologize to her customers who had booked appointments over the next few days and tell them they can't get their hair done just yet.

The Person County Health Department reported its first COVID-19-related death this week. Officials said the person had underlying health conditions.