Monday was supposed to be the grand reopening for salons and gyms in Santa Clara County after four months of closures.
The PerformanceGaines gym in Palo Alto was open for the first time with strict new safety measures in place. Trainers wore masks, cleaners were standing by to sanitize equipment and a handful of physically distanced clients were happy to be back.
Then the news of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new restrictions started to come in.
“First one text saying, ‘Did you hear that California might be shutting down again,’ then another text,” said owner Chris Gaines. “So over the course of like an hour I just got like five or six different texts.”
Santa Clara County, which was back on the state’s monitoring list after temporarily falling off of it, will have to shut down all indoor operations at gyms, hair salons, other personal care services, malls, churches and non-critical offices on Wednesday.
“It’s frustrating to say the least,” said Gaines. The change is the latest in a string of reversals and delays that he has experienced. “I’ll wake up one day and I’m not sure if things are going to be, thumbs up, you can move ahead, or if you have to pull back on the reins… these uncertainties, they affect not just businesses but they affect real people and their livelihoods.”
But he says he understands that at the end of the day, safety does need to come first. “We would be nothing without our community anyway, so we definitely have to keep their wellbeing top of mind.”