Companies in the Jacksonville area are finding out what’s next under the new CDC guidelines for masks
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One day after the CDC’s big update that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors, local businesses are considering what to do next.
Friday was the first day many people took off the mask, but companies are still debating whether to keep their mandates.
“We started reassessment ahead of yesterday’s announcement, mostly at a point where our employees were fully vaccinated,” said Kelly Pickard, owner of Alewife in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville.
The tasting room has four employees who all got the shot including Pickard.
But, she said, she’s holding the mask on for now.
“It’s still a level of comfort, a level of respect. I mean, that’s a pretty quick announcement. I don’t think people really expected that, ”she told Pickard.
She said she wanted her customers to feel comfortable.
So does Altha Outlaw, who manages Bogers shoes in five points.
“At the moment we will continue to wear our masks. We want our customers to feel safe and secure, ”said Outlaw, adding that she will not force the wearing of customer masks but will encourage it.
Most of the companies News4Jax reviewed on Friday said they are either reassessing or maintaining the requirements but giving up any type of enforcement.
Dr. Jonathan Kantor, an epidemiologist, had a reminder of everyone who received a vaccination.
“You could absolutely still get infected after that,” he said. “It reduces the changes in which you really get sick, you have to go to the hospital, you have to go to the intensive care unit.”
For large chain stores like Walmart, Aldi, and Target, staff say the decisions about mask requirements are coming from corporate headquarters, which they said they haven’t given updated instructions yet.
Publix announced on Friday evening that it would no longer require fully vaccinated customers or employees to wear face covering. Walmart announced it would do the same too.
A spokesman for Southeastern Grocers, the company that owns Winn-Dixie and Harveys supermarkets, released a statement saying:
“We are currently reviewing our business security logs and will provide more details as they are finalized. We ask our customers to be patient and flexible as we continue to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities. “
Several places said they plan to post signs asking unvaccinated people to wear a mask and then let them choose whether to follow it or not.
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