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Stevens Point business reacts to new mask guidance

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - If you’re fully vaccinated, in most cases you can finally take off that mask according to new guidelines from the CDC.

It’s become a habit for most people to walk indoors and put on a mask, but now at places like El Mezcal in Stevens Point, wearing a mask may soon be a thing of the past for customers.

However, workers are still required to wear them at El Mezcal.

“It doesn’t matter even if we get fully vaccinated, we’re still gonna wear a mask because some customers, they’re uncomfortable and some customers are comfortable with the masks,” Owner Adolfo Melendez said.

Melendez said about 90% of his customers wear a mask, but with the new CDC guidance, his restaurant isn’t making customers wear them unless they want to.

“I’m not gonna say to a customer ‘well you gotta leave because you don’t got a mask,’ you know, sometimes I’ll tell them ‘oh just rush it up and take a seat, we’ll take it from there,’” Melendez said.

The CDC’s guidance said masks are still recommended for crowded places such as airplanes, buses, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there’s nothing wrong with still wearing a mask, if desired.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an individual who has a certain level for risk aversion, as we know the risk is extremely low, of getting infected if you’re vaccinated,” Fauci said.

The Wausau Police Department explained in a Facebook post that “a privately owned business can set rules for their business and as expectations change, some may continue to ask for masks.”

The police department asks to respect each business’ rules such as at El Mezcal where Melendez said his staff will wear masks until the CDC says it’s OK for everyone to ditch the masks.

“Half of us are vaccinated, and even though we will be fully vaccinated, we’re still going to wear masks to make comfortable of the other people,” Melendez said.

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