Coronavirus California: Santa Clara County businesses approaching indoor reopening with caution

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Santa Clara Co. businesses approach indoor reopening with caution
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From nail salons and tattoo parlors to museums and aquariums, here's how Santa Clara businesses are preparing to reopen indoors.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties are two of five across California that have moved on the state's color-tiered coronavirus tracker.

The change from the purple to the less restrictive red tier means indoor personal care services and gyms can reopen with modifications.

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The owner of Blossom Nail Spa in Campbell told ABC7 News, her employees are now tough as nails, as they've had to maneuver constantly changing reopening plans.

It's one reason Linda Do admitted to feeling some reluctance when her employees and customers told her the county was allowing her to finally move operations indoors.

"I'm like, 'you know what, I will believe it when Governor Newsom says it's official,'" Do explained.

She was happy to hear Governor Gavin Newsom announce Santa Clara County was in fact moving from purple to red.

RELATED: Indoor hair salons, barbershops, malls reopen with reduced capacity in Santa Clara County

"There's just an excitement to know that nail salons can reopen, and these young immigrant woman can get back to work and provide for their families," she added.

The change also means:

  • Nail and waxing salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors are able to operate indoors with modifications.
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums can do the same at 25-percent capacity.
  • Shopping malls can expand to 50-percent capacity indoors, that's up from 25-percent previously.
  • If the county remains in the red tier for 14 days, K-12 schools can reopen.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can also move indoors at 10-percent capacity.

"We were open for 48-hours exactly, July 13 and 14," Retro Fitness franchise owner, Jason Bumgardner said. "Had to shut back down unfortunately, very quickly."

On Tuesday, Retro's outdoor class in San Jose continued as planned. Bumgardner said the move indoors will come once adequate staffing is in place.

"In the end, it all comes down to: Can we staff the club and are they ready to go," he told ABC7 News. "If they're ready to go, we can flick the lights on within 24-hours, I predict."

Regarding the 10-percent capacity limit, Bumgardner added, "Myself and other health clubs, you know, when you're 15,000-square-feet or more, you do get a little bit more flexibility to operate in a capacity that does allow people to still enjoy a good workout."

He anticipates doing so will be a bit more difficult for fitness centers and gyms with less room.

Both he and Do admit they must return with caution, knowing other counties have experienced re-openings only to be shut down again.

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Marin County was expected to be changed from "purple" to "red," but the state opted to hold off and monitor the county's coronavirus trends for another week.

State Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly said publicly, "The last thing we want to do is see a county move one week, only to see the potential for backward movement again very soon."

"We hope we get to stay open," he said. "I don't ever want to shut down again, for sure. I know my members and my staff who have been unemployed for six months, don't ever want to shut down again."

"Whatever challenges we're facing, we'll handle it as it comes," Do added. "So right now, we get to do indoors. I'm going to invite my customers indoors if they feel comfortable. If not, we still have outdoors and we just take it from there."

Indoor dining, gatherings and movie theaters throughout Santa Clara County remain off limits.

Indoor hair salons and barbershops were recently given the green light to return.

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