PHOENIX - Restaurants in the Phoenix area are making some adjustments, in light of an announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 13, saying that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask in most indoor settings.
"We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," said Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, on May 13.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
Walensky also encouraged people who have weak immune systems, such as from organ transplants or cancer treatment, to talk with their doctors before shedding their masks. That’s because of continued uncertainty about whether the vaccines can rev up a weakened immune system as well as they do normal, healthy ones.
Mask policies may be ending, but some will still wear one
In North Phoenix, masks are no longer required for guests at the Humble Bistro. The restaurant had a mask policy for most of the pandemic, but has dropped the restrictions for guests.
Employees at the restaurant, however, are not throwing away their masks just yet.
"A lot of employees have not yet been fully vaccinated, said owner Jorge Gomez. "Most of them have one vaccination, so we want to be responsible to them and send a good message."
Gomez said that enforcing masks for the last year has been tough in many respects.
"It’s been challenging. You have a lot of people who are like, 'I don’t want to wear a mask!’ and then, I understand but you have to see both point of views. Now at this point, most of them have been vaccinated, so we are allowing them not to wear their mask," said Gomez.
Some guests are still wearing a mask. Gomez says the hope is someday soon, masks will no longer be necessary for anyone.
"That everybody gets to a point we are fully vaccinated, responsible about how we treat everybody, also like not shaming somebody because they want to wear a mask," ," said Gomez.
Gomez says they will continue to reassess these COVID-related policies every week to see where they stand, as far as employee vaccinations.
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CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19