John Gomez, a Safeway worker in Napa, is anxious about what’s to come when California lifts its pandemic restrictions on masks and social distancing this month.
He’s already seeing more people come into his store unmasked since federal health officials said fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks. That conflicts with California rules that still people to wear face coverings in public until at least June 15.
“A lot of us are kind of worried because (the fact that the) government is lifting and opening everything up doesn’t mean it’s gone,” Gomez, 37, said. “What’s going to happen next?”
Conflicting state and federal guidelines over the last month left some California workers and businesses struggling to figure out how to move forward. The state’s workplace safety board is updating its regulations, in which California workers may still have to wear masks if they are with those who are not fully vaccinated.
“Employees hear all those stuff from all those different organizations,” said Jim Relles, who owns Relles Florist in midtown Sacramento. “It’s challenging because they’re coming in saying this and that, so I’m trying to keep everyone abreast of what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, California workers are split over whether California’s mask and social distancing mandate should be lifted.
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Of about 150 essential California workers who responded to an online survey from The Sacramento Bee’s survey in the last week, 52% support the lifting of the mandate while 44% oppose the lifting of the mandate and 4% are undecided.
People who oppose lifting the mandate said they were aware that coronavirus is still circulating in the state. California reported 461 new cases and 23 deaths on Wednesday, for instance. They’re also worried about their kids, who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.