Local salons, gyms prepare to close yet again

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SOLANA BEACH, Calif. –  Indoor operations at various businesses throughout the county must to close at Tuesday midnight.

Betsy Dernbach owner of Suite B Salon in Solana Beach, expected a busy day and night Tuesday. Her clients were desperate to get in after learning that she must close her shop by midnight because of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s health order.

“That is a huge concern and I don’t know if there will be funding this time around, so that’s tough,” Dernbach said through tears. 

The second shutdown will cost Dernbach, and she already spent a lot to reopen her salon safely several weeks ago. The shop has been reorganized to be “touchless.” Work stations are sanitized between clients. Clients are processed outside and there is ample room in the salon for distancing.

“We take temperatures and we ask clients to sign a survey to make sure no one is sick,”  Dernbach said.

Across town at Fit Athletic, the frustrations are similar.

“You can’t go down to zero and expect business to survive” said owner Scott Lutwak. 

Lutwak said he has gone to extraordinary lengths to make his five San Diego gym locations safe for working out while still maintaining social distance and strict adherence of safety protocols

“If you say you’re sitting here in a 40,000 square-foot space and capacity is 400 and take it down to less than 100, there’s more than enough space for everybody to feel safe,” Lutwak said.

The gym is now open by reservation only and they have joined with other gyms around the state to come up with innovative solutions to keep patron safe.

“We wanted to come together as a united voice to be part of the solution and not the problem,” Lutwak said.

Among other things, the gyms agreed to enforce a requirement that patrons wear face masks whenever they are at the gym.

John Erthein has worked out at one of Lutwak’s gyms for 30 years. He told FOX 5 that working out regularly should be considered an essential activity.

 “You’re really helping your health and wellbeing,”  Erthein said. “It’s even more important for older people to exercise.”

Lutwak had hoped that the state would agree that gyms are essential services He said he expected some scaling back as COVID-19 infections rose, but he was not prepared for Monday’s total closure order.

 “Devastation,” Lutwak said. “I think everybody was completely shocked.”

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