SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The CDC has eased their guidelines on mask wearing, saying if you’re fully vaccinated, the mask can come off.
Despite those eased guidelines, many of the country’s largest retailers are still asking customers to mask up. Those businesses include Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Starbucks and Walgreens. For one local business owner, that new recommendation comes as a bit of a relief.
“I will say that it’s been a struggle policing people,” Michael Haskett, owner and chef of M.B. Haskett said. “We’re a business and we’re trying to do the best thing for everybody. For our staff, for our community and it’s been a real challenge with people that want to make it a fight.”
Haskett says he was already looking at lifting his mask requirement in the coming days because most of his staff is fully vaccinated.
“I was thinking about putting a sign that says, ‘masks encouraged,’ but, again, I’m done policing people so if people want to wear them, they can wear them. If they don’t, they don’t,” Haskett said.
Dr. David Basel with Avera Medical Group says the CDC’s decision comes with new data on how well the vaccines work.
“The data is finally becoming clear on some of these effects, like can you still transmit it to others and the answer now that we know, that we didn’t know a month or two months ago, is that it’s unlikely you’re able to transmit it after you’ve been fully vaccinated,” Basel said.
Basel says if you’re fully vaccinated and do get exposed to COVID-19, you should monitor for symptoms, but you no longer need to quarantine while doing so.
“I think the bottom line that I take away from this is that the reason this came out is because of the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine that’s made all of the difference,” Basel said. “And so, if you’re unvaccinated, you still need to be wearing a mask, still need to be doing the social distancing. So get out there and get yourself vaccinated so life can go pretty close back to normal once you have.”
“Look, we’re here to sell food, we’re not here to talk about the politics of mask wearing and it’s been really frustrating dealing with that,” Haskett said. “So, pretty much just from a mental health point of view, I’m so happy to be getting rid of it because I’m tired of the conversation.”
Basel says the new guidelines do not apply in health care or public transportation settings. Businesses also still have the right to require masks, should they choose. He says immuno-compromised people should also continue to be careful and talk with their doctor about what is safe for them.