Pacifica yoga studio owner under fire for 'mask free class,' wasn't home to receive warning, police say

"I mean if it's a pandemic...wouldn't we be stacking bodies? Stacking bodies? You don't even hear about anyone dying. Only what you listen to on the news," owner of Pacifica Beach Yoga said.
PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- Two yoga studios, two miles away, taking two different approaches to the pandemic in Pacifica.

Pacifica police confirmed Friday a hot yoga studio is under fire for allegedly violating state health order regulations received another warning for hosting mask-free classes.

ABC7 spoke to the owner of Pacifica Beach Yoga, Thomas Antoon.

"Are you concerned about potential spread?" Reporter Stephanie Sierra asked.

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"No. No. It's been seven months," he said after admitting he never closed his business.

A mere two miles down the road, Jami Bailey, owner of Sangha Hot Yoga took a different approach.

"I kept thinking about the rising numbers, I called my partners.... we have to close," she said.

Bailey said she was grateful knowing she wasn't alone.

"So many businesses were closed," she said.

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But, not Antoon. He told ABC7 he's been hosting 'mask free' 'virus free' indoor classes since the pandemic began.

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

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Under state public health guidelines, gyms or yoga studios were not allowed to re-open on a permanent basis until last month. Pacifica police confirmed Antoon received 16 complaints alleging his business violated the state health order.

Yet, his business is still operating.

"For this to be so blatant, it does very much upset me," said Pacifica City Councilwoman Sue Vaterlaus.

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"What will it take for there to be some enforcement here?" Sierra asked.

"After the citation is issued, they will follow up and try to observe the business not following the orders."

Following our story, Pacifica police confirmed officers made 13 attempts to reach Antoon but his business appeared to be closed.

"It's pretty difficult to go to a business that looks to be closed up and assume they're still doing business."

Yet, Antoon told ABC7 he lives above the studio and schedules posted online indicate classes are still being offered. Our cameras captured students arriving without masks.
Meanwhile, Bailey believes masks are essential.

"We're always wearing masks," she said.

Inside her studio, there are containment pods.

"They're seven by seven... more than six feet in between," she said. "There's double plastic in between and clips."

"Do you clean in between each class?" Sierra asked.

"We clean inside and outside the pods in between each class."

According to Antoon, he also has a rigorous cleaning regime.

"So we have this fogger," he said. "It's full of 99% alcohol and we fog the entire studio."

Just a different approach to the state health order.

"I'm saving lives here. I will never close this place. Never. Never."

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