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SLO Co. businesses preparing for possible reopening with new social distancing guidelines in place

Posted at 5:23 PM, May 04, 2020

Some San Luis Obispo County business owners are getting a head start on re-opening plans.

In Phase 1 of the county’s three-phased plan released late last week, places like restaurants, gyms, and places of worship are among the industries and services that will be allowed to have a modified reopening.

A number of them are already working to put new social distancing guidelines in place.

“We have plans to block off alternate cardio equipment, to space out equipment as possible, to limit our class sizes, and provide some visual markers on the floor space so people can know where they can be to space themselves out," said David Pomfret, Equilibrium Fitness owner.

At places of worship, such as Grace Central Coast, they’re looking at several smaller services throughout the day to accommodate members, deep cleaning restrooms after every use and rooms after every worship service.

During Phase 1, there continues to be a limit on gatherings to no more than 10 people but according to Tim Theule, Grace Central Coast lead pastor, it doesn’t apply to places of worship.

“In Phase 1 we are not bound to the 10 person limit, we are only bound to the square footage of our meeting spaces," Theule said.

As businesses wait for confirmation to open, some are looking to open their doors as soon as possible. For others, the process might take a bit longer.

"Our desire is to be ready as soon as we can after that statewide stay at home order is lifted, so if it was lifted on a Wednesday we would try to go for it that Sunday," Theule said.

"It will take several days or possibly weeks to make sure that we have everything in order and understanding what the nature of business is going to be moving forward," Pomfret said.

Despite being allowed to eventually re-open in Phase 1, both Equilibrium Fitness and Grace Central Coast plan to continue their online classes or services for those in the vulnerable population.

Phase 1 won’t begin in San Luis Obispo County until the Governor lifts his stay at home order.

In Phase 2, K-12 schools, summer camps , and child care centers will be able to have a modified reopening and gatherings up to 50 people are allowed.

While in Phase 3, vulnerable populations can continue public interactions and most institutions and businesses will be able to fully reopen.