What will reopening amid COVID-19 look like? These SoCal businesses are trying to plan ahead

It's unclear when dine-in service at restaurants will resume and when gyms can reopen, but business owners are already making changes even though they don't know what will be required of them.
California has slowly begun to ease some coronavirus restrictions and take steps toward reopening the economy, but some high-risk businesses and public spaces remain closed.

It's unclear when dine-in service at restaurants will resume and when gyms can reopen, but business owners are already making changes even though they don't know what will be required of them.

Jon Kagawa, owner of Fish King in Glendale, says they have to be ready when the time comes to fully reopen. Physical distancing guidelines will remain in place, cleaning products will be at the front door and tables have been reduced, all with a focus on speed.

"Trying to (automate) everything so it's easier to order and get customers in and out of here quicker without having to be in here," he said.

Individual cities and counties will take different steps on when and how to emerge from the statewide order and officials are still working on what steps to take. Just in time for Mother's Day, flower shops are among the businesses in Los Angeles County that started to reopen on Friday.

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Flower shops are among some of the businesses reopening in Los Angeles on Mother's Day weekend, the busiest time for many stores.



Ian Gresik of The Arbour in Pasadena is expecting to have to operate at 50 percent capacity and how long that lasts will be key to the establishment's survival, he says.

"We can only do 50 percent capacity for so long, a month, maybe two. Other than that, there's no point," he said.

Dining at the bar won't be an immediate option at restaurants because that translates to more people but The Arbour plans to use its private dining room to separate large parties from other customers.

Bringing back a full staff also isn't likely right away.

"We're a restaurant that's two years old and we've been fortunate enough to keep the majority of our staff the whole time and we'll have to make hard decisions of which 50 percent of our staff members are going to come back," Gresik said.

On Friday, California began to move into Phase 2 of reopening the state's economy, but Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted that Phase 3 could be just on the horizon. That stage involves reopening higher risk workplaces that necessitate close proximity between people.

That includes hair and nail salons, barbershops, movie theaters, gyms and sporting events without live audiences.

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California just began to move into Phase 2 of reopening Friday, but Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted the next stage could be just on the horizon.



9Round Fitness in Sherman Oaks is already looking ahead and figuring out what reopening will look like, despite the fact that the gym falls under the third phase.

Classes will no longer be offered for dozens of clients at a time. Instead, there will be five clients at the most, who can join the class by appointment only while wearing masks.

"Every three minutes everyone moves to the next station, so when the clients move to the next station and start working on that station, what happens is the trainers come in and disinfect the station the client just left," said Monika Geisz, owner and operator of 9Round.

Health officials have emphasized that every step taken to reopen businesses across Los Angeles County and the state will be made with an emphasis on avoiding a spike in positive cases.

"We absolutely have to do it the safe way," said the gym's Robyn Richardson. "That's why we've really made our plans here and gone over that very thoroughly to make sure that we're prepared."
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