To mask or not? Business owners weigh decision to allow vaccinated guests to visit maskless

SPOKANE, Wash. — The honor system is now in play for businesses across Washington as the state has lifted its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people. 

Businesses can still ask people to mask up and with most not wanting to deal with the hassle of asking for proof of vaccination, you may want to hang onto that mask even if you’ve had your second shot. 

The question remains: to mask or not to mask?

It is not an easy answer and business owners in Spokane have mixed reactions. 

“It’s really refreshing to actually see people smile and laugh,” said Laurel Sonneby, Manager at Indaba Coffee. 

The local coffee company has said they will allow vaccinated people to visit mask-free.

“We are putting all of our new signs up and taking off our old signs,” Sonneby said. 

But not every business owner is ready for that step. Just down the street at Atticus Coffee and Gifts, visitors will see a sign asking them to mask up. 

Auntie’s Bookstore has taken the same approach, saying that although the CDC has stated vaccinated people can safely go maskless, the bookstore will still be requiring them until further notice. 

Just around the corner at Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, employees will still be wearing face coverings. 

“There are some workers who are concerned about not wearing them, so we didn’t want to make them feel excluded or not safe while they’re at work,” said manager Jevon Johnson. 

Johnson is considered high risk and his brother is also immunocompromised, so he will continue to wear a mask. Despite his worries, he and his team have decided to let guests ditch their mask if they choose. 

“I think there is always that fear kind of there, but we try to focus on just loving people the best we can and just trusting it,” Johnson said. 

Businesses are relying on the community to do their part. How do you feel about these new guidelines? Tell us in the form below.