Some small business owners say not so fast while others celebrate ditching the mask. KDKA's Meghan Schiller has more.
- Some small business owners are saying not so fast to ditching masks entirely. Many gyms, grocery stores, and salons will still be requiring face coverings. Meghan Schiller joins us live inside a brand new restaurant downtown. Meghan.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: Pam, this is the Eagle and it's opening weekend. Imagine walking through a busy restaurant like this one and walking up to the bar without wearing a mask. If you follow the new CDC guidelines, that's allowed to happen but you'll notice the staff is wearing masks. And small business owners I talked to say that's their choice and you should respect it.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: The sweat and endorphins kicked into high gear Friday.
JORDAN ROSE: I finally feel like we could get back on our feet again as personal trainers.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: F45 Studio manager, Jordan Rose saw his athletes unmasked faces for the first time in months. It's all thanks to the CDC's new guidelines saying fully vaccinated people can ditch the mask in most scenarios.
JORDAN ROSE: Everybody's ecstatic about it. They're so excited and you know, we've been getting a good response of just like, you know, the workouts feel better because you don't have to wear a mask and they can breathe better, you know.
Downtown at Twelve 27 Salon, the sign on the front door shows a different reaction.
HILLARY VALLARD: I would say 95% of people have been really supportive and thankful that we are choosing to stay mask.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: Co-owners Hillary and Veronica Vallard made the call Friday morning for the safety of their 15 employees and customers.
VERONICA VALLARD: As far as like determining vaccinations or not, there really is just no real way to tell, right. So we have to err on the side of caution.
HILLARY VALLARD: We joke that we like stuck our flag in the safety sand like when this started, so we feel like we have to stay consistent with that, even in light of new guidelines.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: And they're not the only ones taking it slow. Local union president Wendell Young immediately started working the phones advocating on behalf of his essential workers, like employees at your local Giant Eagle.
WENDELL YOUNG: We had a great conversation with them this morning, myself and the CEO. And we're both in complete agreement that they're going to continue as an employer to require masks by employees and customers for the next 30 days at a minimum. And the idea being, let's everybody really make sure we understand the CDC guidance first.
MEGHAN SCHILLER: And if there is any confusion about those guidelines that went into place yesterday, we can tell you that the state's Department of Health said it would follow them and now local health departments are also deferring to those guidelines.
So we don't have to hear officially from Allegheny County. They have been saying that they are following and adhering to the State Departments of Health guidelines. Also, they say that this is opening weekend and they plan to try to keep it safe and have everyone have a great time. Reporting live downtown, Meghan Schiller, KDKA News.