“I’m not afraid of the virus,” said Thomas Antoon, the owner of Pacifica Beach Yoga. “So what? It’s over. OK. That’s great.”
Antoon told the ABC7 I-Team he has been hosting in-person, mask-free yoga classes for the past seven months.
“I mean if it’s a pandemic, wouldn’t we be stacking bodies? Stacking bodies? You don’t even hear about anyone dying. Only what you listen to on the news,” Antoon said.”It’s a bunch of bullsh**. It’s bullsh**.”
ABC7’s Stephanie Sierra asked, “Are you concerned about potential spread?”
“No. No. It’s been seven months,” he said. “We have the distance. We do our yoga. They contain themselves here. They’re all wiped, the spot you have when you leave. Then we come in and we clean it.”
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According to Antoon, he takes every customer’s temperature upon arrival and follows a rigorous cleaning routine in between each class.
“So we have this fogger. It’s full of 99 percent pure alcohol and we fog the entire studio. The floors. The bathrooms. The changing areas. The front lobby between each class,” he said.
Inside the studio, Antoon said he can accommodate 11 people socially distanced by the tape.
Stephanie: “How long have you been operating like this?
Antoon: “You’re recording me though.”
Stephanie: “Well. Yes. But, just to clarify how long?”
Antoon: “Been doing it for a long time.”
Stephanie: “7 months? Or? 7 months?”
Antoon: “When’s the pandemic, when’s this thing all started. Whenever that all started.”
According to state public health guidelines, gyms, including yoga studios, were not allowed to reopen on a permanent basis from March until Sept. 22.
At that point, in-person instruction has been permitted only at 10 percent capacity. Yet, Antoon tells ABC7 he is operating with 11 people in a studio that can accommodate 26, which is more than 40 percent capacity.
Stephanie: “You are aware this is against the rules.”
Antoon: “No. Not as far as I know. I haven’t heard nothing.”
Stephanie: “It’s required to have masks inside.”
Antoon: “Yeah well.”
Stephanie: “You are aware of that.”
Antoon: “But, it’s optional.”
Antoon: “Everyone’s option is to wear a mask.”
Stephanie: “It is a state and county requirement.”
Antoon: “Yeah. That’s what you said. I don’t know. I don’t see no laws.”
Stephanie: “I can show you.”
After we saw complaints from consumers online, we requested an interview with Pacifica Police Captain Chris Clements to…