ANTIOCH (KPIX) — Backward, forward, backward — Contra Costa County is trying to slow the virus spread and, once again, health officials are targeting gyms and restaurants.
“Full-service restaurant type of dining, I think it’s going to take a big hit,” said J.B. Balingit, chef and owner at Vic’s in Martinez. “Most of our restaurants are full-service.”
Balingit runs four restaurants in Contra Costa County. He says that, while he’s fortunate to be in a good position to do takeout, losing indoor dining will come with a tremendous cost.
“Come Tuesday, we have to scale back,” Balingit said. “That’s the only way that our businesses will stay afloat and scaling it back means you’re going to have to lay off … some employees. How do you choose? They’ve all been willing to work through this pandemic. They’ve all been part of our success.”
“We are learning something new,” said Taylor Martin, owner of The Weight Room gym. “We’re learning a different way to do things.”
Martin owns two gyms in two different counties. His Antioch facility will have to close Tuesday.
“It’s a lot of back-and-forth,” he said. “A lot of trying to keep up with what rules are supposed to be in place and where.”
On top of all of the challenges, Martin and Balingit said it is the start-stop, back-and-forth that is going to prove unsustainable. There is no way of knowing how long this next phase will last or what the cost will be.
“It’s been a challenge,” Martin said. “Definitely has been a challenge over the last six months now.”
“I don’t think anyone can say how long this is going to be,” Balingit said. “We’re hoping, at the very least, we can get some clear guidance from our leadership, locally, in their decision-making process.”