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Solano County requests to fast track reopening churches, gyms

Bay Area

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Dining-in at restaurants could soon be a reality again in Solano County, under the governor’s newly relaxed rules.

But the county is also requesting that the state fast track reopening its churches, fitness center and museums.

“The way that works is it a strict rule prevails between the state and local unless the local is willing to risk sanctions and other things in defiance and that’s not our approach,” Dr. Bela Matyas said.

Dr. Bela Matyas of Solano County says he is asking the state to reclassify houses of worship, museums and fitness centers from Phase 3 to Phase 2 because it’s his view that institutions and businesses could pose a low risk for transmission with some tweaks to their operations.

“Really houses of worship can definitely operate with fewer people more frequent sermons, shorter etc. You put all that together and you can use physical distance and still have religious gatherings. Galleries and museums can limit the number of people to go in and you can control flow. There’s no difference there than at a grocery store. Some similarly, gyms, fitness centers they can limit the number of people they can clean equipment between uses, all of these are environments where you can employ the exact same procedures currently employed in permitted sectors without putting anybody at anything more than a negligible risk of transmission so they don’t make sense to us not to be in stage two,” Matyas said.

But he’s not asking the same reclassification for another type of stage three business people are clamoring for hair salons and nail shops, since they can’t operate without physical distancing.  

But the governor has said that both houses of worship and hair dressers could be back in action in a few weeks, rather than months from now.

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