Bryan business owners encourage mask use following new CDC recommendations

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Some Bryan business owners say they are not requiring masks, but do encourage mask use following updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC issued new guidance Tuesday announcing that everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks inside where COVID-19 transmission is high. Right now, Brazos County, and most of the Brazos Valley, are at the “high” transmission level, the highest level of the four available.

“Feels like we’re back at the beginning, you know when the first pandemic first happened,” said Michael Perez, owner of Papa Perez’s Mexican Cuisine. “It’s like we are going to go through it again, and to be honest with you, we will not survive it. There’s no way we will be able to do just to-go and pick up orders. We did great the first time with that, but the second time around, I don’t think we would be able to survive.”

Perez says they continue encouraging people to wear masks when they visit.

“My employees that are not vaccinated will wear masks. The vaccinated will have the option to wear them or not,” said Perez. “And as my guests come in, it’s optional for them to wear them. I would like for everyone to wear the mask again right now that it is climbing. But I can’t enforce that right now, so we are just gonna go with it and see what everybody else does as they come in.”

Missy Barron owns The Frame Gallery in Downtown Bryan. She is also allowing guests to continue doing what makes them feel comfortable.

“If things start to progress, and it seems like it’s something that we need to put a sign on the door and mandate it, we will,” said Barron. “But we found overall, even since when things were mandated, that people have been really good about keeping distance and not coming in if it seems to be getting crowded, and wearing their masks.”

Barron says as she see cases rise, she too is a little concerned after everything that’s happened in the last year-and-a-half.

“It’s scary with everything. It’s been on my mind quite a bit lately, and at this point we are going to do everything we can to stay open the whole time,” said Barron. “Even if it means we have to go down to doing by appointment only, we are going to do our best to keep our hours the same.”

Both owners say that in order to avoid another shut down and continue living our lives, we need to come together as a community.

“Let’s go ahead and mask up. Everybody do their part, o we don’t have to shut down,” said Perez.

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