SAN JOSE (KPIX) — One of the hardest-hit Bay Area counties in the pandemic will reopen hair salons, barbershops and indoor malls on Monday with modifications, Santa Clara County officials said Friday.
The announcement came six hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state’s watch list would be replaced with a color-coded tier system.
“I mean we were sweating it out all day today, it was an emotional roller coaster,” said Atelier Studio and Salon owner and founder Karie Bennett. “I think a good way to hold a meeting is to get everyone involved in the meeting who is going to have to deliver some information later.”
Bennett is preparing to open on Monday after shutting her doors more than five months ago.
She was among hair and nail salon, barbershop and gym owners who, last month, got the green light to open for only 48 hours after the county made the state’s watch list.
“It’s getting harder and harder to hold on. (I’m) cautiously optimistic, I would say,” Bennett said. “We’ve had quite a lot of back and forth; that whiplash we’ve all been feeling (as) business owners.”
After the governor’s announcement of the new tiered system, business owners across the Bay Area quickly tried to find out what tier they were in and if they could reopen.
All Bay Area counties, except Napa and San Francisco, were in the purple tier. That tier allows hair salons, barbershops and indoor malls to reopen with modifications. Indoor malls are only allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity. Hair salons and barbershops must comply with the county’s risk-reduction rules created when they opened briefly last month.
Despite some business owners feeling hope Friday, others learned they must remain closed, including gyms and fitness studio owners.
“I think the tier system is an improvement,” said Evolution Trainers founder Ashley Selman.
She said while there is more clarity in how and when to reopen a county, it paints a broad brush over the fitness industry.
“I mean there’s still questions of which sectors get to open first and is that exactly fair,” Selman said. “There’s big gym fitness, there’s group fitness, there’s personal training but it’s all being treated all the same. So that’s kind of frustrating.”
The California Fitness Alliance released a statement that said the governor “decided only those who can afford a Peloton should have access to a healthy lifestyle.”
Bennett said she’ll prepare to reopen on Monday and hopes the county doesn’t take another step backward.
“You just have to hold back a little bit of yourself so you don’t get so badly hurt again if things change,” Bennett said.