As Yolo County moves forward with reopening, local businesses are able to provide county residents with increased services
On March 24, 2021, Yolo County moved from the red (substantial) tier, into the orange (moderate) tier.
According to a press release, the move follows two consecutive weeks of meeting the orange tier’s metrics. As a result of moving into the orange tier, many Yolo County businesses are now allowed to either expand capacity or resume operations entirely.
Fitness centers and gyms can now operate at 25% max occupancy and both restaurants and movie theaters can open indoors at 50% max occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer. A full list of guidelines can be found on Yolo County’s website.
General store manager of Tim’s Hawaiian Laura Armero explained that while the move to orange tier has allowed for increased capacity, Tim’s Hawaiian has not made any significant changes to operations.
“We’re still following all the COVID-19 guidelines—we have markers on the floor, we sanitize every 30 minutes or whenever we feel it’s needed and masks are required for employees and customers,” Armero said. “Our indoor space is really small so we have to consider the space.”
Due in part to its outdoor seating options, Amaro explained that Tim’s Hawaiian has actually seen a recent increase in business.
“It’s safer outside,” Amaro said. “The outdoor space lets customers just have a good time. They can eat and enjoy the things we used to do before the pandemic started.”
Amaro also attributed the increase in business to changing weather conditions and the more widespread availability of vaccines.
“More students are coming back, so we’re seeing more business because of that,” Amaro said. “I also think that people are feeling more comfortable with the vaccines coming out and the nicer weather.”
Co-owner of Davis Strength and Conditioning Drew Temple explained that like Tim’s Hawaiian, most of their operations with customers have been moved outdoors since the start of the pandemic.
“We had an outside area that was already built, so we basically have just been adding things back inside as things open up more,” Temple said. “When [indoor capacity] was 10%, we moved some back and now we’ve moved more. We also schedule when people can come in so there’s not a lot of overlap.”
Temple explained how Davis Strength and Conditioning has been handling the increased indoor capacity and the health concerns that come with increased indoor capacity.
“In terms of keeping things clean, it was pretty simple—our gym was designed to keep people spread apart, so we’re lucky,” Temple said. “It was just a matter of teaching people. We have cleaning stations at all of our racks and platforms.”
Temple explained that many customers are eager to return.
“We’ve adopted a grow-as-it-comes approach,” Temple said. “People are desperate to get back into the gym—supply is low, demand is high. We have a lot of student clients so for us to be a place where [students] can interact with people and engage with people is really important.”
While there has been no shortage of customers who wish to return to the gym, Temple explained his frustration with the speed at which reopening has gone so far and his hope for future reopening.
“I’ve seen a lot of business shut down and friends have to permanently shut down their gyms, and as a business owner I’d like to have things go back to 100% open,” Temple said. “As the vaccine rolls out, I see no reason to open up slowly.”
While the State Theatre & Multiplex in Woodland originally reopened on March 5, 2021, its general manager Sally Muro explained that with the move to a higher occupancy in orange tier, the theater has been limiting ticket sales to ensure proper occupancy.
“We were able to move to a 50% occupancy, so to make sure that we don’t go over it, tickets are only allowed to sell at 50%,” Muro said. “We’re also taking time after each movie to make sure everything is clean.”
Muro explained that reopening in general has been a welcome step forward.
“As far as getting the opportunity to reopen, it’s great—not just for employees but for customers as well,” Muro said. “They’re able to get popcorn and have the experience of going to a movie theater. We have a lot of regulars and we appreciate them willing to come in, and we’re happy to be able to provide them with this experience.”
Written by: Yan Yan Hustis Hayes — firstname.lastname@example.org