GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – With the delta variant becoming more prevalent nationwide, the CDC is changing its masking guidelines. But as Kris Schuller reports for one business owner, masks are a requirement he’s carried since last June.
At The Exclusive Company in Green Bay, if you want to do some shopping, you must wear a mask.
“I do believe us having everyone masked has made it a safer environment for our customers and my staff,” said manager Tom Smith.
That has been Smith’s policy for the past year, first initiated as COVID-19 cases started to rise across the region.
“We saw the cases were rising dramatically in Brown County. We’re in a pandemic and I think it’s wise to err on the side of caution,” said Smith.
And now positive COVID cases are again going up. In Wisconsin Wednesday they were twice as high as a week ago. A national trend fueled by the more contagious delta variant, causing the CDC to issue new guidance, recommending the return of masks in virus hot spots.
“Until we get more people vaccinated, we’re going to have to go back to masking or risk the healthcare systems again,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President & CEO of Prevea Health.
The CDC says if more people get vaccinated, the nation could halt the spread of COVID-19 in just a matter of weeks.
“The only way out of this is vaccinating the unvaccinated right now,” Rai said.
And if the numbers keep growing the owner of Madchicken may again require his employees to mask up.
“I would prefer for the employees just to wear it – if the numbers started to get higher just to make the people more safe,” said Mahmoud Gaballa.
But at The Exclusive Company, no changes need to be made thanks to Smith’s standing policy of masks mandatory – no exceptions
“It’s just about the safety of our community. That’s the bottom line: we just don’t want people unnecessarily dying or getting severely sick from this,” Smith said.
CBS reports new cases of the virus are averaging more than 57,000 a day.