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Companies in Houston are moving toward changing CDC mask guidelines



HUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The best vaccine expert in Houston and a restaurant manager are considering new CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it is easing guidelines for wearing masks for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors, in crowds and in most closed conditions.

This marks the first time the CDC has published a set of guidelines.

SEE ALSO: CDC: Fully vaccinated people can leave masks indoors – most of the time

Chris Cusack, general manager at La Grange restaurant, said he believed it was a step in the right direction.

“I think this is something we have all been waiting for for so long,”

; Cusack said. “Through all the restrictions, closures, just traffic and all the things we’ve tried to move with. People will adapt to the news and remove the restrictions and I think it will probably take some time, but I’m excited. this direction and not the other. “

There are various factors that restaurant and business owners need to consider before deciding what to do next, including how many of their staff members are fully vaccinated and the level of comfort around others. Cusack said he was conducting these talks with restaurant staff and others in the industry.

The Texas Restaurant Association released this statement to ABC13 on Thursday night:

“Governor Abbott made it clear in Executive Order GA-34 of March 2021 that restaurants and other businesses have the right to set their own safety requirements for employees and customers. We believe that restaurants in Texas will take these latter into account. guidelines from the CDC continue to update their policies. Above all, restaurants will continue to prioritize the safety and comfort of their staff and guests. “

SEE RELATED: Walmart Drops Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Buyers | List of store disguise policies

The Houston Zoo also announced Friday that it no longer requires visitors who are fully vaccinated to wear a mask in common areas.

However, visitors will have to wear a mask if they participate in a paid meeting with animals such as backstage tours or feeding giraffes.

“The zoo continues to strongly encourage all unvaccinated guests to wear masks and wants everyone to exercise safe social distancing in crowded situations, regardless of their vaccination status,” the zoo said in a statement.

However, not all companies are ready to cancel their mask requirements.

Susan Finn from Beautique Day Spa and Salon said that for now they comply with their requirement for disguise.

“Because so many people haven’t been vaccinated yet, from now on we just keep the masks until things play out a bit,” Finn said.

She said that while some customers are unhappy with their camouflage requirement, most prefer it, saying it makes them feel safe.

As of Friday, about 40% of adults aged 16 and over in Harris County had been fully vaccinated.

Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor Medical College, said he expects the CDC announcement to come later in the summer, when more Americans are fully vaccinated across the country.

“While the transmission of viruses is not very high at the moment, the concern is that if we continue to keep vaccination coverage low, their numbers will start to rise again in the summer,” Hotez said. “I think if we do that, I mean, the only way to succeed is to vaccinate people more aggressively.”

It is still recommended that children and people who have not been vaccinated wear masks and continue social distancing.

“If we really want to go back to pre-pandemic life, we need to vaccinate all adults and adolescents. It’s that simple,” Hotez said. “The CDC’s recommendation is a sign that the best way, the only way out of this epidemic, is to vaccinate our way through it, and it’s really important to protect ourselves and the lives of our loved ones, to make sure everyone is vaccinated who meet the conditions. “

Hottes also said not enough Texans have been fully vaccinated. He is also concerned about the fifth wave of COVID-19 cases that hit this summer, largely due to the availability of options.

“If you remember that time last year, we were at a low point in the epidemic and we opened up prematurely and it was a terrible summer with a big increase in cases. I think it’s probably again,” Hottes said. “It’s not so bad because we have a segment of the population that has been vaccinated and another segment that has been infected before and maybe some partial immunity, but it can still go up. That’s why if you’re not vaccinated, you are a child or an adult and go indoors, you will still need this mask to protect you. “

Some stores have said they plan to continue to require the use of masks.

Kroger

The country’s second-largest food chain will still require masks worn by everyone in stores. The statement said:

Currently, the Kroger family of companies continues to require everyone in our stores to wear masks. We encourage and encourage vaccination for associates by offering a one-time payment of $ 100 to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As throughout the pandemic, we review current safety practices, the latest CDC guidelines, and seek feedback from staff to guide the next phase of our policy. In addition, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing, as well as to consider using food delivery without touching or taking low-contact food.

HEB

ABC13 turned and waited to hear about the mask policy.

Target

The company said:

Target will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, as we review today’s CDC guidelines and reassess the guidelines we offer to our team and guests.

Home Depot

Home Depot told ABC News: “We have not updated our mask policy, but we will follow up if anything changes.”

A check of the Home Depot website shows that the store offers and requires masks to be worn in the store.

CVS Health

CVS said in a statement to ABC News: “We reassess our in-store mask policy based on the latest CDC guidelines. The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process.”

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