Ky. businesses weighing decision of masking up again

Two women wear masks outside of a store.
Two women wear masks outside of a store.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The spread of the delta variant has already led to a change in mask policy for state employees. Right now, private businesses can decide on their own if they want to require them.

Since Kentucky started reopening, business has been pretty good at Winchell’s.

“We’ve been doing numbers sometimes that we have never even done before,” Graham Waller with Winchell’s said.

Waller said they’ve already had a few months that surpassed their sales in 2019, which is one of the reasons he hopes more people work to stop the spread of COVID, before any new steps are put in place.

Just a few days ago they asked their employees to put masks back on.

“To let our customers and everyone know, look, we’re taking this seriously again and we just want everyone to. That’s what it comes down to for me. Get vaccinated please, everybody get vaccinated,” Waller said.

Waller said he isn’t requiring his employees to get vaccinated, but the thought has crossed his mind. He said he’s more likely to offer a bonus to those who have gotten it.

Doctors tell us how the next few months play out will depend on vaccine acceptance.

“We do get the vaccine, we can likely be out of this by the end of the year. We don’t get the vaccine, we are likely going to continue to see different variants coming around the corner as we give opportunities for this virus to evolve,” emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said.

Private businesses do have the option of requiring masks for customers, something Apple Stores, like the one at The Summit is already doing.

“Never been political for us. It’s always been health, it’s always been the health of my business. That’s where our beliefs systems come from. For us it’s a simple as you’re vaccinated and if you have to wear a mask, wear a mask,” Waller said.

Dr. Stanton said he is hopeful we’ll see the peak of this current surge in the next two weeks.

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