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Some local businesses say their mask requirement will stay even if New York’s goes

May 14, 2021

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some businesses in our area are saying even if customers are vaccinated, masks are here to stay.

News10NBC went around Monroe County asking stores how they would run their business if and when Albany accepts the new CDC guidance.

Even though there is light at the end of the tunnel in ending this pandemic once and for all, businesses say new CDC guidance is a positive, but not encouraging masks is a negative.

“We would choose to keep the mask mandate,” Tracy Blair said, who works at Hobby House Needleworks in Pittsford.

Sylvia Serry, the owner of Sylvan Starlight Creations says the “mask up” sign will remain on her door.

“As more and more people get vaccinated hopefully that will go away someday but for now yes we will continue to require masks,” Serry said.

The CDC said Thursday if you’re fully vaccinated you’re no longer required to wear a mask while being in a crowd outdoors and for most indoor settings. Many of our small business owners say they don’t want to risk having to play the guessing game on who walks into their store fully vaccinated or not.

“There is no required proof of vaccination, you’re not required to bring your card and I’m afraid that some people may just not be honest on whether they’re vaccinated or not,” Blair said.

Others say “it’s me myself and I” in the store at all times, so there wouldn’t be enough hands on deck to check vaccination cards if that becomes a mandate.

“I’m by myself here most of the time so I’m not going to be equipped to be checking vaccine cards at the door so I think it’s going to be a transition because I need to protect my customers,” Serry added.

While small businesses are prepared to keep the mask up, Karen Sanders, senior council for Tully Rinckey law firm, said establishments like a bar are more than likely going to be ok with mask down.

“I’m guessing that some of the businesses like bars people are like, ‘No I don’t want to wear a mask and still don’t want to wear one,’ so businesses like that might not make that choice,” Sanders said.

The bottom line for businesses that say “mask or no entry” is the protection of everyone.

“I’d still rather air on the side of caution and keep the customers and employees when customers are in the store wearing masks,” Blair added.

As of Thursday night, the governor’s office has not announced whether or not the Empire State will adopt the new guidelines. The governor Thursday night said New York is reviewing the guidance.

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