Sonoma County Permits Opening of Gyms, Bars, Theaters, and Hotels. Most Yoga Studios Will Wait for Now.

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Beginning on Friday, businesses like nail salons and and tattoo parlors will have the green light to join a large contingent of travel and leisure businesses in Sonoma County in finally reopening their doors.

On Thursday just before 8PM the county health officer issued the long-awaited order allowing Sonoma County to move to phase three of reopening.  It means that the vast majority of county businesses will once again be able to resume operations.

A variety of personal services businesses like nail salons, considered at higher risk to public health, have been awaiting reopening permission for weeks.  In the latest order, those businesses join hotels, bars, vacation rentals, resorts, campgrounds, movie theaters, gyms, casinos and health clubs in receiving the go ahead to reopen.

Sonoma County is among a group of California counties that has been granted a variance to reopen more quickly than others in the state.  This new order aligns Sonoma County with the state by green lighting all businesses and activities that are currently allowed under California guidance.

As in the past, not all business eligible to get back in operation will do so immediately. Many will need additional time to work out the details of abiding by county health rules.

As in prior reopenings, all businesses planning to welcome customers will have to follow a strict set of county-issued protocols ranging from requiring employees to wear facecoverings, to frequent and upgraded sanitation, strict social distancing, and enhanced hygiene.

Among the businesses that will not be immediately reopening are most of Sonoma County’s yoga studios. Although they are now technically cleared to welcome customers, 20 of the county’s 26 studio owners have agreed to wait to reopen their indoor studio spaces until a set of protocols common to all operators can be worked out.

Yoga One owner Deacon Carpenter says the goal is to provide clients confidence that all of the county’s yoga studios are observing the same safety and health precautions.

Carpenter says protocols should be worked out, and most studios reopened by mid to late July.  In the meantime his Yoga One studio and several others are operating outdoor classes, and also recording sessions for online viewing by their clients.

As for the county’s health order, night clubs, saunas, ball pits and large sporting events are among the businesses and activities that remain prohibited.  Most will not be permitted until the county enters stage four of the state Roadmap to Recovery.


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