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Houston Business Navigates CDC Mask Recommendation Changes

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) – Houston’s top vaccine specialist and restaurant manager is highlighting the new CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it is extending the full range of masking recommendations for vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks, going out in crowds and in most indoor spaces.

This is the first time the CDC has issued a guideline.

SEE ALSO: CDC: Most Immunized People Can Leave Masks In Their Homes

Chris Cusack, general manager of La Grange restaurant, said he believed it was a step in the right direction.

“I think it̵

7;s something we’ve all been waiting for a long time,” Cusack said. “Through all the restrictions, shutdowns to go only and everything we try to do, people will adapt to the news and the cancellation. Restrictions, and I think it might take some time, but I’m thrilled it goes this way, not the other way around. “

There are a number of factors that restaurant owners and business owners need to take into account before deciding what to do next, including the number of employees who are fully vaccinated and their comfort level with others, Cusack said, he said. Chatting with restaurant employees and others in the industry.

The Texas Restaurant Association released this statement to ABC13 on Thursday evening:

“Governor Abbott made clear to Executive Order GA-34 in March 2021 that restaurants and other businesses have the right to set their own safety requirements for employees and customers. We will take this latest recommendation from the CDC as they continue to improve their policies. Among other things, restaurants will continue to prioritize the safety and comfort of staff and their guests.

See Related: Walmart Drops Full Face Mask Orders for Vaccinated Shoppers | Shop Cloaking Policy List

The Houston Zoo also announced Friday that it no longer requires vaccinated visitors to wear masks in general areas.

However, visitors are required to wear a mask if they are participating in a paid animal encounter, such as a behind-the-scenes tour or giraffe feeding.

“The zoo continues to encourage all unvaccinated guests to wear masks and want everyone to exercise safely in busy situations regardless of their vaccination status,” said the zoo. Said in a statement

However, not all businesses are ready to lift the mask requirements.

Susan Finn of Beautique Day Spa and Salon said they now retain their masking requirements.

“As there are a lot of people who are not vaccinated yet, we just keep masks at this point in time until things get a little better,” Finn said.

She said while some customers were unhappy with the cover requirements. But most would love to say that it makes them feel safe.

As of Friday, about 40% of adults 16 and older in Harris County were fully vaccinated.

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said he expects the CDC announcement to come this summer when more Americans are receiving injections. Complete vaccines throughout the country

“While the virus’s spread is not very high right now, the worrying thing is that if we maintain low vaccination coverage, that number will start to rise again over the summer.” “I think if we’re going to do this, I mean the only way we can be successful is to get people vaccinated more seriously.”

It is still recommended that children and unvaccinated people wear masks and avoid socializing.

“If we really want to get back to life before the outbreak, we have to vaccinate all adults and adolescents, it’s that easy,” Hotez said. As a result of this epidemic, vaccination is very important to protect yourself and the lives of your loved ones. Make sure everyone receives the vaccinations that are eligible. ”

Hotez also said it was not processed enough to receive a full vaccination. He is also concerned about the fifth wave of COVID-19 cases this summer, largely due to the presence of variables.

“If you remember this moment last year, we were in the downturn of the epidemic and we opened up prematurely and it was a terrible summer with a huge increase in patients, I think it will be another. “It’s not as bad as we have a group of people who have been vaccinated and another previously infected, and probably have some immunity,” Hotez said. But it can still add up, which is why if you are not vaccinated, whether you are “young or old and when you are in the house, you still need that mask to protect you”.

Some stores said they planned to continue using a face mask.


The nation’s second-largest grocery chain still needs a mask that every store wears. Said in a statement:

At the moment, the Kroger Group still wants everyone in our stores to wear masks. We support and incentivize co-vaccination by offering a one-time payment of $ 100 to co-workers receiving the recommended dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we have throughout the epidemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the latest CDC recommendations, and seeking feedback from our associates to guide the next phase of our policy. In addition, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social isolation and frequent hand washing, as well as to consider using contactless grocery deliveries or low-touch grocery deliveries.


ABC13 has been contacted and awaits a response on mask policy.


The company said:

The goal will still be to implement all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including face masks and social isolation, as we examine today’s recommendations from the CDC and evaluate the recommendations we offer. Again our team and guests

Home Depot

The Home Depot told ABC News, “We haven’t updated the mask policy. But we will follow up if anything changes “

An examination of the Home Depot website showed that the store was prepared and required masks to wear in-store.

CVS Health

CVS said in a statement to ABC News: “We are reevaluating our in-store mask policy in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations. The safety of our employees and customers will continue to guide our decision-making process.”

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