CDC says masks no longer needed for Americans vaccinated against COVID, but some Chicago restaurants say they will still need them – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed mask measures for vaccinated Americans, several private companies in Chicago are not yet ready to do the same.

As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported on Saturday, the CDC’s new guidelines have caused confusion – because even though they say people vaccinated don’t need masks, that doesn’t mean individual companies still can’t. not require people to wear one.

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Several restaurants try to forestall any potential confrontation by making the rules inside perfectly clear – even before opening the door.

“The first reaction was, ‘Oh shit,’ said Josh Leisner, a loop server.

“All my employees would say to me: ‘What are we doing? What do we do? Said Michael Roper, owner of Hopleaf Bar in Andersonville.

Roper and Leisner work in different places, but they share the same skepticism.

“We have no way of distinguishing who is vaccinated and who is not,” Roper said.

“If the solution for the vax pass is to show your card, people will pay money to get a fake card before they get pulled,” Leisner said.

CBS 2 reported difficulties in proving vaccine status as it currently stands. Some corporate chains like Trader Joe’s say they will use the honor system – trusting unvaccinated buyers to keep the mask on.

But it’s a risk Roper isn’t prepared to take.

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“We had to quickly put up new signage,” he said.

Signage says even vaccinated staff and diners should keep masks on when walking around.

“I said, ‘The lettering has to be really bold,’ Roper said. “Maybe that will filter out some people who say, ‘I never wear a mask in my life again,’” he said.

With companies free to make their own mask decisions, Roper hopes customers can stick to his.

“We don’t want to be an area of ​​the spread of COVID among people who are not vaccinated – for some reason they are not vaccinated,” he said.

Roper is also hoping that signs outside restaurants like his will relieve pressure from hosts and hosts who have been on the front lines of clashes during the pandemic.

With the mask warrant in place, Hopleaf moved the host station from the back of the bar to the front so customers without a mask didn’t get very far.

“Restaurant hosts have tasks they never had before, it’s a much more difficult job than in 2019,” he said. “They play a mix of parents and security guard on some days.”

Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they would follow the CDC’s lead and revise the mask guidelines for fully vaccinated Illinois. But they didn’t say how or when.

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Following the guidelines means they’ll likely keep mask requirements in places like public transportation.


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