Gym and hair salon owners say they’re struggling to reopen outdoors

At Diablo CrossFit in Pleasant Hill Friday, members were getting their exercise on outdoors.

Owner Craig Howard says it seems to be working out well.

"Almost every class is full. There's a waitlist in the morning and evening classes," says Howard.

Howard says his business is about three-quarters of what it was pre-COVID. But it could be worse.

He says he has all the sanitation procedures in place and hopes he can move inside sometime soon.

"At the end of a workout, our coaches assist in the cleaning. We also went the extra step and talked to dentists and doctors and we use a fogging system in between classes," he said.

Contra Costa County had eased restrictions for outdoor-only gyms fitness centers, and nail salons. It also is allowing hotels to re-open to the public, not just to essential workers.

News of more developments came from Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday. 

Under a new system now in place, beginning Monday, August 31, hair salons and barbershops in Alameda and Contra Costa county can re-open indoors, but at just 25% capacity.

Alameda County hair salons, were for the first time allowed to begin operating outdoors on Friday.

But the vast majority of salons, such as Maven & Co. in Pleasanton, were not equipped to move outside.

"We're in an area that's really loud. Really noisy. We're upstairs," says owner Lindsay Skog.

"As it is now, we're not bringing in anything. So I don't know how long these guidelines will be at 25%. But we're not getting any funding. 25% is better than nothing," Skog said.

California Fitness Alliance issued a scathing response to the governor's reopening plan.  

“Governor Gavin Newsom has failed Californians with a statewide plan for gyms and fitness that can’t be explained on the basis of credible evidence and will result in state-induced business failure for an industry that is critical to California’s good health, equity and economic recovery. He is killing access to affordable and safe activity that can help people fight COVID-19, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions."

They say data from nearly 3,000 gyms nationwide with over 49 million member check-ins shows an occurrence rate of COVID-19 at 0.002 percent.

County health officers still have the authority to make any final determinations on what type of businesses can and cannot open.