Valley business owners react to state's decision to delay CDC mask guidance

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Monday, California said not so fast to the latest CDC guidance, which says fully vaccinated Americans can resume most indoor activities without wearing a mask.

The state's top health official said they would stick with their current guidance until June 15th, which requires masks indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Michelle Wiebe Andrews does not require masks at her downtown Visalia store, Pacific Treasures & Gourmet.

"I don't feel it's my job to be the enforcer," she said.

Wiebe Andrews believes many people and businesses will follow the CDC guidance, despite California's decision to wait a little bit longer.

She says she tries to accommodate all of her customers, whether they choose to wear a mask or not.

"If anybody wants or doesn't want to wear a mask, I'm not going to argue either way," Wiebe Andrews said. "But if somebody is wearing a mask, I will wear my mask and we will when we help them."

Lori Heeszel, owner of an acai restaurant called Sol Bol, still requires her employees to wear masks.

Customers aren't allowed inside for the time being, unless they need to use the restroom, in which case they need to put a mask on.

"I personally feel that if (a) person wants to take a risk and they don't have any health issues, they want to walk into a store, let them not wear a mask," Heeszel said. "If they have a problem or health issue, let them wear a mask. It should be their choice. But I am not doing any of that because (of my) restaurant and I know the sensitivity that some people have to it and the fears that they have. So we're being as safe as possible in our restaurant."

State officials say they plan to implement the CDC mask guidance on June 15th, the same day the state is expected to fully reopen the economy.

Until then, they expect everyone, including national retailers such as Target, to follow the state's rules.

State officials say this period between now and June 15th will give Californians time to get ready for the change in guidance, while the effort to vaccine more people continues.

Officials with the California Nurses Association, which urged California not to adopt the CDC guidance, told Action News that the state's decision to wait was a step in the right direction, adding that they hope any future change to the current guidance is based on science.
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