People donning face masks again with threat of delta variant

BOSTON — More and more people are pulling out their face masks once again as new research shows how much more contagious the delta variant of COVID-19 can be.

“We already know that using masks and sanitizing and keeping everything clean is going to help prevent the spread of even the newest delta variant,” said Joe Nadeau, manager at Gifted in the South End.

Nadeau says he and his employees will still wear masks even though customers don’t have to.

“It’s not required yet, not until the state tells us to or the city tells us to,” said Nadeau.

Over at Around the Corner, there’s also no mask mandate for customers.

“We’re hoping that people are also vaccinated when they come in with no mask, but it’s hard to know,” said Danielle Lauretano, who works at Around the Corner.

Still many more customers have decided to throw the mask back on as they enter stores, even if they’ve been vaccinated.

“It makes me feel better, I’m going to be around like older family members and they’re also fully vaccinated, but where they’re more vulnerable I just feel safer,” said Steph Dalwin while shopping in the South End.

Dalwin is following the advice from state health officials after DPH advised people Friday to wear masks if they’re in close contact with anyone who may have a compromised immune system.

“And if stuff gets worse, we’ll definitely start to require masks again and go from there,” said Lauretano.

After more than a year of constant change, a lot of small businesses are ready to pivot back to more restrictions if needed to keep customers safe.

“I continuously carry masks in the store, I have a stack of them for customers if they feel like they want one while they’re here, they can definitely have one,” said Nadeau.

State health officials say if you have a weakened immune system or health condition or live with someone who does, you should wear a mask indoors even if you’ve been vaccinated.

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