When 80% of Vermonters have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Phil Scott will lift all COVID restrictions. What will that mean locally? Bruce Hyde, owner of Mehuron’s Supermarket, reached out this week to report that masks will no longer be required at the store when the state hits 80%. That led to phone calls to other Waitsfield business owners and managers to learn about their plans.
Yvonne Fugate at The Collection said she hadn’t thought that far ahead yet.
“I honestly can’t say at the moment. It depends on what my employees feel comfortable with and we have a lot of little kids in the store. Also, while we’ll have 80% of the state vaccinated, we’re a tourist destination. We have a lot of things to discuss and figure out,” she said.
Village Grocery owner Troy Kingsbury said he’ll still have a mask policy and that it’s simple.
“If you want to wear one, please do. If you don’t, don’t. I’ll encourage it because we have a lot of kids who come in. I’ll ask people who aren’t wearing one to stay 6 feet away from others, especially kids. We’ll provide masks if people want one,” Kingsbury said, noting that almost all of his employees have been vaccinated.
At the Mad River Taste Place, manager Mary Tuthill was happy to report that as of June 2 she is fully vaccinated and, in another week, all of her co-workers will be fully vaccinated.
“That’s what I’m using as a benchmark to pull the sign off the front door. We’ll take the sign down and the plexiglass in front of the cashiers. I told my staff that it’s their choice if they want to wear masks. And even now, if someone comes in without a mask, we’re not asking for a vaccination card. We hope they’re playing by the rules. And right now, fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask.
“We all did the right thing for so very long and now we get to return to normal,” she added.
At Kenyon’s Variety, co-owner Donna Kenyon said they have been and will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines which allow people who are fully vaccinated to go about their business without masks. Kenyon said they will keep the plexiglass barriers between workers and customers up for now.
Ana del Rosal at Mountain Rose Integrated Wellness Center said she would lift mask requirements when the state hits 80% and all restrictions are lifted.
“We’ve been following the guidelines all along and most people who are fully vaccinated are ready to take their masks off because they’re moving. We keep the windows open and purchase air filters for the studio and offices,” she said.
Because it’s a small community and she knows most of the people coming through the studio she’s got a good sense of whose been vaccinated, mostly because people are excited to get the shots and happy to talk about it.
People coming in for acupuncture can ask her to wear a mask or wear one themselves if they want and anyone who feels more comfortable doing so can continue.
“At some point, we have to get past the anxiety of this last year and move on,” del