Body Art COVID-19 Update
As of January 25, 2021, the Regional Stay Home Order has been lifted and counties are returning to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Body Art Facilities may reopen with restrictions, please utilize our Reopening Guide FAQ to help your facility reopen safely. Should you have any questions about Body Art, call or text San Bernardino County Environmental Health Services at 1-800-442-2283. For more information about the novel coronavirus crisis, visit the County’s coronavirus website at SBCOVID19.com. We hope you, your family and staff remain safe and healthy.
State COVID-19 updates and guidance are available at COVID19.CA.GOV.
Workplace Specific Plan
- Establish a written, workplace-specific COVID-19 prevention plan (Body Art Safety Plan) at every location, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas and work tasks and designate a person at each facility to implement the plan.
- Incorporate the CDPH Face Covering Guidance into the Safety Plan and include a policy for handling exemptions.
- Identify contact information for the local health department where the facility is located for communicating information about COVID-19 outbreaks among workers or customers.
- Train and communicate with workers and worker representatives on the plan and make the plan available to workers and their representatives.
- Regularly evaluate the workplace for compliance with the plan and document and correct deficiencies identified.
- Investigate any COVID-19 illness and determine if any work-related factors could have contributed to risk of infection. Update the plan as needed to prevent further cases.
- Implement the necessary processes and protocols when a workplace has an outbreak, in accordance with CDPH guidelines and orders or guidance from the local health department.
- Identify close contacts (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) of an infected worker and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive worker(s) and close contacts.
- Notify all employees in writing, and employers of subcontracted employees, who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and report workplace outbreaks to the local health department. For additional information on employer responsibilities under AB 685 (Chapter 84, Statutes of 2020), refer to the Enhanced Enforcement and Employer Reporting Requirements from Cal/OSHA and the Employer Questions about AB 685 from CDPH.
Topics for Worker Training
- Information on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and people who are at higher risk for severe illness or death.
- Self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks using CDC guidelines.
- The importance of not coming to work:
- If a worker has symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, OR
- If a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not yet been released from isolation, OR
- If, within the past 14 days, a worker has had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is considered potentially infectious (i.e. still on isolation).
- To return to work after a worker receives a COVID-19 diagnosis only after meeting CDPH Guidance on Returning to Work or School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis.
- To seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face.
- Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.
- The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol (preferred) or 70% isopropanol (if the product is inaccessible to unsupervised children). Never use hand sanitizers with methanol due to its high toxicity to both children and adults.
- The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time (see Physical Distancing section below).
- Proper use of face coverings, including:
- Face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Face coverings do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
- Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
- Workers should wash or sanitize hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Face coverings must not be shared and should be washed or discarded after each shift.
- Information contained in the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings, which mandates the circumstances in which face coverings must be worn and the exemptions, as well as any policies, work rules, and practices the employer has adopted to ensure the use of face coverings. Training should also include the employer’s policies on how people who are exempted from wearing a face covering will be handled.
- Ensure any independent contractors, temporary, or contract workers at the facility are also properly trained in COVID-19 prevention policies and have necessary supplies and PPE. Discuss these responsibilities ahead of time with organizations supplying temporary and/or contract workers.
- Information on paid leave benefits the worker may be entitled to receive that would make it financially easier to stay at home. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and workers’ compensation for COVID-19, including workers’ sick leave rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Individual Control Measures and Screening
- WARNING: Piercing and tattooing services (including permanent cosmetics) are suspended for the mouth and nose area.
- Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift and any vendors or contractors entering the establishment. Make sure the temperature/symptom screener avoids close contact with workers to the extent possible.
- If requiring self-screening at home, which is an appropriate alternative to providing it at the establishment, ensure that screening was performed prior to the worker leaving the home for their shift and follows CDC guidelines, as described in the Topics for Worker Training section above.
- Encourage workers and customers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
- Employers must provide and ensure workers use all required protective equipment, including eye protection, gloves, and face shields where necessary.
- Employers should consider where disposable glove use may be helpful to supplement frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer; examples are for workers who are screening others for symptoms or handling commonly touched items. Workers should wear gloves when handling items contaminated by body fluids.
- Disposable gloves should be worn for services that require them and throughout body art services. Wearing gloves should be done in conjunction with regular hand washing and is not a substitute for regular hand washing.
- Workers who consistently must be within six feet of customers or co-workers must wear a secondary barrier (e.g., face shield or safety goggles) in addition to a face covering. All employees should minimize the amount of time spent within six feet of customers.
- Contact customers before visits to confirm appointments and ask if they or someone in their household is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. If the customer answers in the affirmative, reschedule the appointment. Such communication can be done via phone, app, email, or text to remind customers that they should only come to the facility for their appointment if they do not pose a health risk to other customers or workers. In order to implement pre-screening protocols and ensure physical distancing protocols, consider suspending walk-in appointment availability.
- Tell customers that no additional friends or family will be permitted in the facility, except for a parent or guardian accompanying a minor.
- Customers should be screened for temperature and/or symptoms upon arrival, asked to use hand sanitizer, and to wear a face covering unless exempted per the CDPH Face Covering Guidance. Employers have the right to refuse entry to symptomatic customers or visitors.
- Display a set of guidelines for customers that are to be a condition of entry. The guidelines must include instructions to wear face coverings, use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distance from other customers, and they should communicate changes to service offerings. The guidelines should be posted in clearly visible locations, including at entrances, include pictograms, and be made available digitally (e.g. through email).
Ventilation, Cleaning, and Disinfecting Protocols
- Consider opening treatment room windows, if feasible and within security protocols.
- Where possible, install portable high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrade the building’s air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and make other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in all working areas.
- Check the CDPH website periodically for updates on indoor air quality and ventilation guidance for airborne diseases in indoor settings.
- Ensure that coworkers, fellow tenants, booth renters, and/or staff have coordinated and put a plan in place for cleaning and disinfection at the beginning and end of each shift and in between customers. Perform thorough cleaning in high traffic areas, such as reception areas, and areas of ingress and egress including stairways, stairwells, and handrails.
- Frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces including credit card terminals, counters, reception area seating, door handles, light switches, phones, toilets, and handwashing facilities.
- Evaluate existing ventilation, hygiene, and sanitation protocols and cleaning processes and update where necessary. Use hospital grade, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved products to clean and disinfect anything the client came in contact with, including treatment tables, face cradles, stools, bolsters, door knobs, side tables, chairs, etc. Follow the product manufacturer’s recommendations for contact time. Use disinfectants labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol that are appropriate for the surface. Provide workers training on the chemical hazards, manufacturer’s directions for use, ventilation requirements, and Cal/OSHA requirements for safe use. Workers using cleaners or disinfectants should wear gloves and other protective equipment as required by the product. Follow the asthma-safer cleaning methods recommended by the California Department of Public Health and ensure proper ventilation.
- Since porous surfaces such as chair seats in the waiting area that cannot be easily disinfected, consider covering with a plastic or disposable liner and cleaning or disposing of the liner after each customer.
- All appliances at work stations and in treatment rooms should be properly disinfected between each customer.
- For non-porous implements, such as tweezers or scissors, clean the item with hot, soapy water to remove any physical debris. Rinse and dry the implement completely. Follow by immersing the implement in an EPA registered liquid disinfectant that is labeled as a bactericide, fungicide, and virucide for the full contact time as stated by the manufacturer’s directions. Items should be removed at the end of contact time, rinsed, and dried with a clean paper towel.
- For electrical implements such as magnifying LED lamps, hot towel warmers, and esthetic devices, clean the implement with a spray or wipe to remove any physical debris. Follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant spray or wipe for the full contact time as noted by the manufacturer’s directions. Use caution when using a spray and be sure your device is unplugged and do not spray into the motor. For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol- based wipes or sprays containing at least 60% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
- To minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water, take steps to ensure that all water systems (e.g., drinking fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown.
- Workers should wear disposable gloves when removing used linens, towels, and other draping, including blankets and client draping for each treatment. Do not shake the dirty laundry. Place used linens in a lined, lidded receptacle positioned outside the treatment space, if possible, to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus in the air. Dirty linens should not be used again until properly laundered either by a commercial laundering service or a laundering process which includes immersion in water of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 25 minutes. Store all clean linens in a clean, covered place.
- Where possible, do not clean floors by sweeping or other methods that can disperse pathogens into the air unless all persons in the area have appropriate PPE. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter wherever possible.
- Do not allow food or beverages to be at stations or in treatment rooms.
- Thoroughly clean any product display areas, including all shelving and display cases. Remove and discard any open “test” products and discontinue this practice to help reduce contamination. Add signage to this area to let customers know it is cleaned and disinfected daily.
- Encourage the use of credit cards and contactless payment systems. If electronic or card payment is not possible, customers should come with exact cash payment or check.
- Consider upgrading to touchless faucets, soap and paper towel dispensers, and adding touchless, automatic hand sanitizer dispensers.
- Ensure soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers are regularly filled.
- Equip reception areas and workstations with proper sanitation products, including hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
- Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift. Cleaning assignments should be assigned during working hours as part of the worker’s job duties.
- Workers should avoid sharing phones, tablets, laptops, desks, pens, and other work supplies, wherever possible. Never share PPE.
- The above-mentioned protocols are in-addition to regular cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing procedures that are already required through the California Safe Body Art Act.
Physical Distancing Guidelines
- WARNING: physical distancing alone is insufficient to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
- Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between and among workers and customers, except while providing the services that require close contact. This can include use of physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, colored tape, or signs to indicate to where workers and/or customers should stand).
- Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between each work station area, and/or use impermeable barriers between work stations to protect customers from each other and workers.
- Chairs should be arranged to ensure at least six feet of space between customers. Establishments should consider additional divider shields or other impermeable barriers where appropriate.
- Stagger appointments to reduce reception congestion and ensure adequate time for proper cleaning and disinfection between each customer visit. Consider servicing fewer customers each day or expanding operating hours to allow for more time between customers and suspending walk-in appointments.
- Workers should provide tattooing or piercing services for only one customer at a time.
- If possible, implement virtual check-in technology to ensure that workers are notified when a customer arrives. Ask customers to wait outside or in their cars rather than congregating in reception areas. Reception areas should only have one customer at a time or the area should be modified to support adequate physical distancing, including removing chairs and sofas or spacing them further apart.
- Take measures at reception desks or other areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained to minimize exposure between workers and customers, such as Plexiglas or other barriers.
- Consider offering workers who request modified duties options that minimize their contact with customers and other workers (e.g., managing inventory or managing administrative needs through telework).
- Require workers to avoid handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, or similar greetings that break physical distance.
- Do not allow people to congregate in high traffic areas such as bathrooms, hallways, bar areas, reservation, and credit card terminals, etc.
- Ensure workers can maintain physical distance in breakrooms, using barriers, increasing distance between tables/chairs to separate workers, etc. Where possible, create outdoor break areas with shade coverings and seating arrangements that ensures physical distancing. Discourage workers from congregating during breaks and ensure they are not eating or drinking without face coverings within six feet of each other.
What We Do
We register practitioners and inspect tattoo, permanent cosmetics, and body piercing facilities to minimize the spread of disease. Each body art facility (permanent, mobile, and temporary) in a city or the unincorporated County area is required to obtain a valid health permit from EHS before body art activities can be performed.
California law states that “every person engaged in the business of tattooing, body piercing, or permanent cosmetics is required to register in the county in which that business is conducted.” View the Safe Body Art Assembly Bill No. 1168 for further information.
Body Art Practitioner
A “practitioner” is defined as a person who performs body art on a client. These activities include tattooing, body piercing, application of permanent cosmetics, and branding. A Body Art Practitioner in a city or the unincorporated County area is required to register annually with EHS before body art activities can be performed. Inspections will be conducted regularly by EHS to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
The following documents are sample forms that body art facilities in San Bernardino County may use. Please note that in each document, areas highlighted in yellow may be edited by the user.
Temporary Body Art
FDA – Warning Letters:
October 1, 2019 – Dynamic Color Inc
October 1, 2019 – Color Art, Inc. DBA Solid Ink
October 1, 2019 – Intenze Products Inc.
FDA – Recalls and Voluntary Recalls:
- Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots distributed from 8/6/2018 through 10/1/2018) – Recall Completion Date 5/17/2019
- Dynamic Color – Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc (lots 12024090 and 12026090)
- Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone’s Ink) (lot 10.19.18)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Body Art?
A: Body Art means body piercing, tattooing, branding, or application of permanent cosmetics.
Q: When was the Safe Body Art Act enacted?
A: On October 9, 2011, Safe Body Art Act was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown with an effective date of July 1, 2012. The Safe Body Art Act was amended October of 2013, going into effect January 1, 2014.
Q: Who is the Local Enforcement Agency for the Safe Body Art Act in San Bernardino County?
A: The Division of Environmental Health Services (EHS) is the local enforcement agency for the Safe Body Art Act. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact EHS at (800) 442-2283.
Q: What is the requirement to obtain a Body Art Health Permit for a new body art facility or for a facility planning a remodel?
A: Submit to EHS electronically or paper plans of the proposed body art facility, a copy of the facility’s Infection Prevention Control Plan (IPCP), a complete Application for Health Permit and applicable fee. A health permit will only be issued after plan review and field inspections have determined that the proposed body art facility and its method of operation conforms to the Safe Body Art Act. The Body Art Facility Plan Review Packet and Infection Prevention and Control Plan Guideline are available in the Body Art section of our website.
Q: What is the fee for Body Art Facility Health Permit?
A: Please see our current fee schedule.
Q: What is the requirement to be registered as Body Art Practitioner in San Bernardino County?
A: In order to obtain registration, body art practitioners must submit to the Division of Environmental Health Services (EHS) a complete application and applicable fee for body art registration, evidence of completion of OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training (trainers must be approved by the County of San Bernardino), valid photo identification (applicant must be at least 18 years of age) for first-time registrants, and evidence of Hepatitis B requirement. The Hepatitis B requirement can be met in one of the following ways:
- Evidence of current hepatitis B vaccination (including boosters) or
- Comply with current Federal OSHA hepatitis B vaccination declination requirement or
- Demonstrate hepatitis B immunity
Q: What is the fee for Body Art Practitioner Registration?
A: Please see our current fee schedule.
Q: How often do the Health Permit and the Body Art Registration have to be renewed?
A: Both the Health Permit and the Body Art Registration shall be renewed annually.
Q: Can I use my body art practitioner registration in another county?
A: A valid and current registration issued by a local enforcement agency shall be valid in any other jurisdiction for no more than five consecutive days, or 15 days total, in any one calendar year.
Q: Is the Health Permit transferable?
A: No. Health Permits are non-transferable.