SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County’s new masking order took effect Friday, requiring people to wear masks indoors whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.
The mandate follows a pattern of on-again, off-again health rules that have marked the pandemic.
Some businesses saw little impact from the new order. Oto’s Marketplace didn’t see any drop in business because of it.
Health officials say even people who are vaccinated, like shopper Serena Marquez, can still spread the new variants.
“I feel good about it,” she said. “I’m glad that we’re doing it again so we don’t continue spreading it and getting our seniors and our young children sick.”
Restaurants, retail stores and gyms have suffered during the pandemic by the changing rules aimed at limiting the virus’s spread, but the new mask mandate doesn’t come with the limited seating, occupancy restrictions or social distancing that handcuffed so many businesses.
At restaurants, patrons are allowed to unmask when eating or drinking.
Some business owners said they will still serve people who refuse to wear a mask because they can’t afford to turn them away.
It was a delicate matter during earlier mask mandates.
“It’s politely, ‘Wear a mask or leave,’” Oto’s manager Florence Oto-Wong told FOX40.
That was a rare occasion at Oto’s, which wants to err on the side of caution.
“We’re not here to argue with them,” Oto-Wong said. “Pretty much a world pandemic. We have to do what we can, everyone’s got to do their part.”
Some customers said it’s not a big sacrifice to wear a mask for a short time, even if you don’t believe in them, but said they aren’t concerned with those who refuse to follow the rules.
“I’m going to keep my distance with anyone when I’m out and about anyway so it’s not a problem. I wish they would comply just so it’s not a problem with shopowners because they just doing what they have to do,” shopper Bobbie Rocha said.
Store managers at Oto’s said they believe the new mask mandate is good for business because it protects employees and customers. A sick employee or customer threatens quarantines and constant virus testing.
Many of the customers there never stopped wearing masks, even after rules were lifted.
“We’re so used to having people with masks on all the time, so now we’re back to the way it was before,” manager Russell Oto said.
Sacramento County has not given an end date for the current order, but some believe that masks will be part of everyday life for a long time, with or without a mandate.