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Utah businesses, customers react to new CDC mask guidance

(KSL TV)


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LEHI – New guidance from the CDC that fully vaccinated people can ditch the mask and social distancing was welcome news for many Utahns, but the impact was not immediately felt at businesses across the state.

"We're ready to kind of be done with it. Thanksgiving Point is no exception," said Josh Berndt, director of communications. "We hope that people will just stay the course. We're almost there."

Berndt said Thanksgiving Point removed their mask requirement for guests visiting outdoor venues on Wednesday. The requirement remains in place for employees and guests indoors.

"We're taking things slow because we just want to be safe," he said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the subject of masks came with mixed messages from public health officials. Months later they were seen as one of the most important tools to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more than a year they've been a way of life for many residents and businesses in Utah and around the country.

Berndt said when they reevaluate their COVID restrictions, they will continue to take into account federal and local guidelines, including Thursday's updated guidance from the CDC for those fully vaccinated. But for now, there is no timeline for when the indoor mask requirement may be lifted there and at other businesses.

"The timeline is ongoing. It's like hitting a moving target. We're taking it day by day, week by week," he said.

"I think that's great. I think that they're trying to make it so that more people want to get vaccinated," said Lauren Burke, a guest at Thanksgiving Point.

A customer browses at Thanksgiving Point Thursday, May 13, 2021.
A customer browses at Thanksgiving Point Thursday, May 13, 2021. (Photo: KSL TV)

Burke said she understands why businesses aren't removing the mask requirement right away.

"You can't lift the mask mandate for people who are vaccinated inside because how can you prove that they've been vaccinated," she said. "No one's going to walk around with a piece of paper saying, 'show me your vaccine.' So, the only way I think to keep it going and to keep staying safe is to keep masks on inside. I wish it weren't that way."

No matter what the mask requirement looks like at businesses, many see the new CDC guideline as a big step closer to normal.

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Matt Rascon

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