SF business owners, employees wary of CDC's new mask-wearing guidance

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In a sign that life is returning to normal, the CDC is now saying fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most situations. California's Department of Public Health is now reviewing the guidance.

But despite the CDC's new guidelines, that no masks are needed for vaccinated Americans outdoors and indoors, many San Franciscans are not so sure.

RELATED: CDC eases mask-wearing for vaccinated, but Bay Area health official says not so fast

"I take it off at home and that's it," said San Francisco resident, Dwight Kirby. "The only way to be safe is to wear a mask, period."

There are exceptions: vaccinated or not, masks are still required on planes, trains, buses, and in hospitals.

But inside businesses, people could let their masks down if California and local health departments adopt the CDC's guidance.

Nob Hill Liquors employee, Luis Hernandez, said a customer came into their store without a mask Thursday after the new CDC guidance was announced. "He showed me the paper he had the vaccine."

EXPLAINER: What fully vaccinated people can, cannot do according to CDC's new mask guidelines
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People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can ditch masks in many circumstances, the CDC says, but some people aren't quite ready to remove their face coverings yet.



Hernandez works at a corner store in Lower Nob Hill and would prefer their customers to continue masking. "No mask, no service," he said.

Next door at Inga Donut, Winnie Ng, says if the government OK's it, customers can go without masks inside her store. As for herself, "outside I don't care, but inside I still keep this one," said pointing to her mask.

Cindy Pham at Perfection Nails also has some concerns. "I have vaccination, but I don't know if my clients get the vaccine or not."

Neighbor Rob Beal still wore his mask outside a Hyde Street bar, even though masks have not been required outdoors for two weeks for fully vaccinated people.

RELATED: Stores reviewing face mask policies after new CDC guidance released Thursday

"It sounds a little questionable right now. I will keep my mask on, especially if a business requires it. I'm all for being safe and cautious and I've gotten used to, so it's working," said Beal.

Mask-wearing attitudes seem to vary widely by neighborhood. There were a lot more people in the Marina without masks on Thursday night.

Kate Larsen: "What do you think of the new CDC guidance?"
John Hayward: "I'm for it. The thing that everybody doesn't like is the CDC seems like they're changing their recommendations hourly and nobody can keep up with it."

"I think a lot of it is mental, so trying to get over that barrier, trying to get back to how it was before will help out a lot," said San Francisco resident, Diana Orozco. "We lived without a mask our whole lives, so we should be able to get back to it."

California and San Francisco's departments of public health are reviewing the CDC guidance. Both agencies using it as an opportunity to encourage more people to get vaccinated, since that's how people can lose the mask.

In a statement sent to ABC7, San Francisco's Department of Public Health said the following:

"The CDC's announcement that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in certain indoor settings is great news because it further underscores the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in driving down cases and preventing community spread. As we recently did with the new guidance on outdoor masking for fully vaccinated people, we must wait for the state to adopt the updated guidelines before making changes to the local health order that we consider safe.

We know people are eager to shed their masks and the quickest way we can arrive at a place where it is safe to do so, is for every eligible person to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Appointments are widely available throughout the City. The longer you wait to get vaccinated, the greater the risk of contracting and becoming severely ill from COVID-19 or spreading it to a friend, loved one or co-worker. If we all get vaccinated, we can continue to reopen our city and look forward to a great summer."




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