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New COVID-19 Safety Shutdown Orders Impacting Central, South Coasts Businesses

(KCLU photo)
Arboles Barber Shop And Salon Owner Paul Echtekleff gets in last minute haircuts over the weekend before Sunday night's new stay-at-home order takes effect.

Business was booming at a Conejo Valley barbershop all weekend long.  Danye Wilson was one of the last people to get a haircut at Arboles Barber Shop and Salon in Thousand Oaks before the new COVID-19 safety shutdown took place Sunday night in Southern California.  The 12-year-old Westlake Village boy is a regular customer, and wanted to get his hair ready for the holidays.

But, Owner Paul Echtekleff says it’s not going to make up for the big financial hit the four-decade-old family business has taken during 2020.  He says revenue is down by more than 30% since the start of the pandemic, and the timing of this latest shutdown couldn’t be worse.  He’s normally booked solid by people wanting haircuts for the holidays, and January and February are usually the slowest months of the year.

Echtekleff says aid programs helped during the first shutdown, but didn’t fill the gap.  Now, the second closure is just compounding the situation.  He’s hoping there will be a new aid package.

There are a number of new COVID-19 safety shutdowns on the Central and South Coasts, with a wave of additional restrictions in place.  They’ll be in place at least through Christmas.  They were were triggered by state guidelines which call for new steps if the hospital intensive care unit capacity is a region falls below 15%.  That happened in Southern California over the weekend.  Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties are considered to be a part of the region.

Restaurants in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties have once again had to shut down onsite service, and can only offer takeout and delivery.

Schools which are already open can remain open.  All playgrounds have to close. Retail stores can remain open, but only at 20% capacity. 

And personal care service like hair salons, nail salons, and barbershops must totally close.

Benjamin Jones is another customer at the Thousand Oaks barbershop..  He says he’ll be glad to get this year behind us, and is hoping for a better 2021.  Echtekleff echoes the view, saying he just wants to forget 2020, and hopes the new year will being a fresh start.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.