Pacifica PD has received at least 15 complaints about maskless hot yoga class

On Monday, the outraged Yelp comments and one-star reviews started pouring in for Pacifica Beach Yoga. The reviews all alleged the same thing: that a hot yoga studio in Pacifica was holding indoor classes without masks in violation of COVID-19 health guidelines.

Owner Tommy Antoon confirmed to KRON4 that no masks are worn during his classes, although he noted social distancing is in place and he’s only allowing up to 10 people per class with reservations. Currently, San Mateo County health guidelines allow gyms and fitness studio to operate at 10% capacity, with masks required at all times.

The Pacifica Police Department confirmed to SFGATE that they have received at least 15 complaints about the business, dating all the way back to April 30, 2020, with the most recent being Tuesday, October 13. On May 1, they issued a citation to the owner for a health order violation.

Yet, the maskless classes continue. On Monday, the studio advertised yoga classes on Instagram with the caption “’Come Feel the Heat’ #maskfree #fearfree #virusfree #cowardfree #infernohotpilates #bikramyoga #powervinyasa #hotyoga #trump2020.”

To one former customer on Yelp warning others of the studio’s lack of COVID precautions, KRON4 reports Antoon replied: “Why so angry? Because you’re jealous. Do you know that I never closed ever? We’ve been having classes the whole time-saving lives. Not one case of the virus while stupid fools like you coward at home with your mask on. Keep posting my stuff. Help me spread the word loser.”

The claim that the studio has been open the entirety of the pandemic contradicts Antoon’s GoFundMe description for Pacifica Beach Yoga and his other yoga studio, Go 2 Yoga, in early April: “This [GoFundMe] account is necessary to pay the bills because the studios are not allowed to be open. The last two months have been extremely tough on our studios due to COVID-19, with the last part of March and all of April being a total loss.” Antoon’s GoFundMe raised $4,068 from 31 donors.

Antoon also notably filed a lawsuit back in May asking a federal court to declare California’s shelter-in-place orders unconstitutional, saying that he could no longer afford medications with his business closed.

“I answer the phones a lot and take calls, so I know we got a large volume of complaints regarding that address,” Pacifica police officer Jason Craig said of Pacifica Beach Yoga. “I can tell you almost certainly that every time we’ve gotten one of these calls, we’ve sent an officer out.”

Officer Chris Clements, captain of the Pacifica PD, wrote in an email to SFGATE that they are investigating a potential violation of the county health orders.

“While in the past our enforcement efforts focused on education and gaining voluntary compliance, the San Mateo County urgency ordinance provides new penalties for commercial entities violating health orders,” his email stated. “These penalties range from $250 to a maximum of $3,000 per violation.”

This story has been updated to include a comment from Pacifica police officer Chris Clements. 

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