reopening the bay area

Grocery Shoppers Opt to Keep Masks on Despite Pandemic Rules Being Lifted

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Now that California has fully reopened and dropped most coronavirus-related restrictions, one of the first places people will have to decide whether to continue to wear a mask is the grocery store.

Most stores are following the state's rules rules for shoppers, meaning no need to wear a mask if you've been vaccinated.

Masking up remained an overwhelmingly popular choice at two grocery stores in the Hercules-Pinole area.

"I’m still going in with a mask," Sprouts shopper Kimberly White said.

White and fellow shopper Jeanie Porter said it's common sense.

"You’d rather be safe," White said.

Now that California has fully reopened and dropped most coronavirus-related restrictions, one of the first places people will have to decide whether to continue to wear a mask is the grocery store. Thom Jensen reports.

Sprouts still requires masks for all workers, but now, under state law, only requires them for people who are not vaccinated. The store relies on the honors system to determine who did and didn't get the shot.

At a nearby Safeway, there were similar rules and similar results. Masks are required for workers and requested for the unvaccinated.

"Anybody in their right frame of mind, that’s what they’re supposed to do," shopper Jay Rhoades said.

Nearly everyone chose to keep their masks on, even if they're fully vaccinated.

"Keeping it real," Rhoades said. "You know, keeping it real."

Shoppers at both stores said they understand the reality of the current situation. The state is reopening, but the virus isn't gone for good.

"A lot of people are still not vaccinated," shopper Vivenne Leahy said. "And I’ll be seeing my grandchildren who are not vaccinated."

And not everyone is ready to trust their neighbor.

"Because you can’t know who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated, so I just think everyone should wear masks until it’s over," shopper August Stevens said.

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