Bay Area heat wave could impact struggling businesses after warning to minimize outdoor activity

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- The heat is going to complicate life during the pandemic for the coming week as struggling businesses take yet another hit.

High noon in Walnut Creek. The lunch rush at most outdoor tables is just not materializing. After all, temperatures are over 100.

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"Normally I come down here to get the mail or another girl in the office does and these tables are full every time at this time of day. So we have not only COVID but now we have heat on top of the problems we already have so yeah it's just another hit these businesses are taking down here," said Kris Coley who works in Downtown Walnut Creek.

A sushi restaurant downtown opened in June. Thursday was supposed to be their first day to offer outdoor dining. A canopy is ready to be set up as they hold out hope this gamble will work despite a week of heat ahead.

Amanda Schein with a restaurant called "Ikoi" said hopefully "sushi is kind of cold, the rice is cold so I hope a lot of people will consider eating sushi."

The best bet is to take refuge indoors in air conditioning, especially since people are still required to mask up in public even in the sweltering temperatures. There are cooling centers in Richmond, Antioch and Pleasant Hill. Alameda County has one in Pleasanton.

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"Try to minimize going out in the middle of the day. Try to run your errands in the morning or the evening when it's cooled down," said Contra Costa County health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.

Some businesses like a veterinary hospital in Walnut Creek are taking the heat seriously.

During the pandemic, they've done curbside vet service with dogs and owners waiting in cars. But they've decided to close for the afternoon hours on Friday.

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"With the temperature predicted to be 105 to 110 we thought it was unsafe for our clients and our patients to be doing curbside business," said Dr. Gillian Hamilton with Geary Veterinary hospital.

The heat complications extend well into next week. Another extraordinary challenge in already challenging times.

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