Business Owners Breathe Sigh of Relief After County Stays in Less Restrictive Tier

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Balance and breathing are some of the key techniques of barre, a fitness genre inspired by yoga, ballet and pilates.

It's been good practice for Studio Barre Encinitas owner Kimberly Gillis, who exhaled a big slight sigh of relief when she learned her studio's indoor operations won't have to shut down because of renewed COVID-19 restrictions.

"There was a little like, ‘Yes!’ A little high five here and there, there was a breath of relief that we can continue to move forward," said Gillis.

Gillis is referring to the news Tuesday that San Diego is staying in Tier 2 and won't have to face extended closure brought on by a demotion to Tier 1 in the state's reopening blueprint.

Had the State of California moved San Diego County into the more restrictive Tier 1, Gillis' studio, gyms and restaurants would've been forced to shut down their indoor operations for the third time since March.

“The stress of closing, the stress of reopening, the stress of closing again and reopening again. It’s a lot and puts a lot of pressure on you,” explained Gillis.

The pressure mounts when you have six children to feed as Gillis does. And staying in Tier 2 doesn't necessarily mean things are great either -- As it stands now her studio is only allowed to operate at 10% capacity.

There are added expenses and considerations to help make sure staff and customers are safe, Gillis said. That includes sanitizing stations in the studio and sanitizing between classes.

For those reluctant to come into the studio, Gillis said she's offering "quaran-toning" classes outside and online.

“We are taking every precaution to run our business and stay alive. Without this we will not be able to stay here, our business is going to fail," said Gillis.

While businesses are allowed to keep their doors open now, Gillis said she’s keenly aware that until the pandemic is over, there could be more Tuesday tier-watches to come.

“We can’t close again. It’s just not an option. I’m optimistic that every Tuesday is going to be a positive day.”

The stat assesses county metrics every Tuesday and assigns it to a tier accordingly. A county must qualify for a tier for two weeks straight before it can be promoted or demoted to that tier.

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