NewsCovering Kern County


As Kern County moves toward red tier, businesses anticipate reopening

Bodybuilding and Weight-lifting
Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 03:03:20-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As their team is back in training, Orange Theory is one of many businesses that is preparing to reopen their doors soon after they get the go-ahead from state and local officials because once we do move into the red tier, businesses like gyms, movie theaters, and restaurants can resume indoor operations at limited capacity.

“It can be relaxing, it's a stress reliever, it's also very social, going to your gyms, you're familiar with people, you talk to them, your instructors, so it has both components of health and emotional and psychological components as well.”

This is why local fitness coach Bekky Plante is excited to return to her love of coaching as soon as early April, with her main goal of making gym-goers feel comfortable in both a health and physical sense.

“Some people that are afraid to come back, they might think they lost progress, not to find any shame or blame in that to have grace with their bodies and just get back into there because they are going to be welcomed into open arms. We are all in this together.”

Plante is preparing to open as local officials are expected to announce on Tuesday that Kern County will be moving into the red less restrictive tier allowing more businesses to open under the current CDC guidelines.

State officials say that the county reached the metrics to make the jump last week, but Kern County needed to keep those metrics for two straight weeks.

As more businesses await the answer, Jenny Sullivan with Redding Cinemas is also preparing to reopen.

“I've been here for years and years and years and this place is supposed to be lively and it's just sad to see it so dark.”

While the theater was closed most of this past year, Sullivan says those lights will turn back on the following Friday after the announcement is made. But when they do return, they will follow all health protocols and limit their capacity to no more than 100 guests or 25% capacity.

“Seating will be limited. We advise people to get their tickets online if possible, we've also limited some touchpoints, we have hand sanitizers everywhere and we will all be wearing our mask.”

However, this won't be the case at the Fox Theater.

“Unfortunately, under the current guidelines, it's not a way for us to make income.”

Executive Director Matt Spindler says it's not cost-effective, as they would likely be in the red about $1,000 every movie.

“There are a lot of things that are involved cost-wise that go into something as simple as playing a movie.”

If they get a sponsorship from the public, they might be able to break even, allowing them to return to the big screen.

“We try to give them as many benefits, anything to help them feel a little better about supporting us so they're not just writing a check for nothing. And the bigger picture is they are supporting us to bring entertainment back into the Fox and people back into town and opening up again.”

The latest numbers from the California Department of Public Health show more than 87% of the state's population is currently in the red tier, and once Kern County makes that jump, we will have that information as soon as it becomes available.