Pacifica yoga studio continues to hold 'mask free, virus free' classes, prompts new investigation

Stephanie Sierra Image
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Pacifica yoga studio continues to defy state health order
A Pacifica yoga studio continues to defy California COVID-19 health orders telling them to close, prompting a new official investigation of the business.

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- A Pacifica yoga studio owner has continued to host indoor "mask free, virus free" classes into December despite state regulations prohibiting them.

Thomas Antoon of Pacifica Beach Yoga told the ABC7 I-Team in October that he doesn't believe COVID-19 is real.

"I mean, if it's a pandemic.. wouldn't we be stacking bodies?" Antoon said. "You don't even hear about anyone dying. Only what you listen on the news."

WATCH: Pacifica yoga studio under investigation after hosting 'mask free, virus-free' classes for months

A hot yoga studio in Pacifica is under investigation after more than a dozen complaints alleging he has defied local and state COVID-19 health guidelines since April.

As of Friday night, the coronavirus has claimed more than 22,000 California lives, including almost 200 deaths in San Mateo County where this yoga studio continues to violate the rules.

On Nov. 29, indoor fitness centers were forced to close as San Mateo County moved to purple.

Yet Pacifica Beach Yoga has continued to host and advertise indoor classes for at least the first two weeks of December.

The ABC7 I-Team tried to explain the state health order to Antoon on October 15 after he advertised "mask free, virus free, fear free" classes.

RELATED: San Francisco temporarily shut down 11 bars since March due to repeated COVID-19 health order violations, officials say

Sierra: "County and state regulations require that everyone wear a mask."

Antoon: "Yeah, well."

Sierra: "You are aware of that."

Antoon: "I'm not making them wearing a mask."

Sierra: "But, it's a state requirement."

A few days following the county closure of indoor fitness centers, Antoon posted this message on Facebook: "We just keep bringing the heat, no fear mongers here."

The I-Team saw at least 14 people not wearing masks enter the business for two classes Thursday night.

RELATED: Doctors weigh in after Santa Clara Co. issues $115K in COVID-19 fines over holiday weekend

Sierra: "I'm trying to understand why you're still hosting indoor classes right now? Can you explain that?"

Antoon:"It's my right."

Sierra: "It's currently a violation of the health advisory."

Antoon: "Go away, b****."

Heather Forshey leads San Mateo County's COVID Compliance Unit that launched in mid-October to help ensure businesses comply with the state's guidelines.

Forshey confirmed 723 complaints have been filed to the unit so far that have prompted 80 written warnings.

"The vast majority of businesses just want to do the right thing," says Forshey.

The I-Team confirmed the unit has received complaints about Pacifica Beach Yoga, and their team is currently investigating the business.

"If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here