Lowcountry business reacts to updated CDC guidance on masking outdoors

Berkeley County News

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday new guidance when it comes to wearing face masks outdoors.

Infectious disease and other public health experts have been saying the mask mandate outdoors needed to be dropped because COVID-19 is much less likely to be transmitted while outdoors.

Goose Creek Antique Mall closed for eleven days when businesses shut down at the height of the pandemic last year.

“I sent a letter to the Governor asking if we could open because we have vendors that can make masks at that point, and that’s when you couldn’t find masks at all,” said Veronica Paradise, owner of Goose Creek Antique Mall.

The did open – and still require masks for those entering the business.

“A lot of our customers, most of them actually, prefer that we wear masks because they feel more comfortable, and I do enforce the masks for everyone,” said Paradise.

But wearing masks outdoors is a different story.

David and Arnetta Ragland enjoyed spending some time outdoors on Tuesday without their masks.

“I think people should wear their mask,” said David, who has been vaccinated. “The reason we’re not wearing a mask is because we’re out here—we knew that we were not going to be around a crowd of people.”

It’s in line with the new CDC guidelines released on Tuesday.

According to the agency, you can safely spend time outside without a mask under several scenarios. If you are two weeks past your vaccination, you can go without a mask outside while walking, jogging, biking – or dining with friends at outdoor restaurants.

But even for those not vaccinated, you can safely go without a mask outdoors while walking, jogging, or biking with members of your same household.

However, vaccinated or not, the CDC still recommends using a mask in crowded situations like sporting events, concerts, or parades.

Arnetta says they are trying to do their part to help. “We both had COVID,” she said. “We both have been vaccinated and we did it because we don’t want to cause someone to be asymptomatic, not cause someone else to get the virus.”

President Biden has set July 4th as a special day regarding COVID-19 – he said Independence Day is when he hopes we can gain some independence from the virus and get things back a little more to normal.

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