Business owners on mask recommendations as delta variant spreads

"Some of my staff members are immunocompromised, so they’re always my first priority over everything."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- The federal government has recommended that everyone—vaccinated and unvaccinated—wear a mask indoors, in places where the delta variant is surging.

Governor Dan McKee is not calling for mask mandates for indoor spots like restaurants. But some business owners say they may soon take matters into their own hands.

“If there’s a significant spike in the case numbers hospitalizations stuff like that…if it starts to trend towards where we were this time last year, we will definitely move back to take out only and require masks,” said Samantha Chamberlain, owner and pastry chef of Blush Bakeshop.

The vegan and allergen-friendly bakery is located on Atwells Avenue in Providence.

Chamberlain said although masks at her bakery are encouraged, business is booming without the requirement.

She tells ABC6 although her business is busy, the safety of her staff comes first.

“Some of my staff members are immunocompromised, so they’re always my first priority over everything,” she explained.

“We’re all still wearing masks when we’re here and around each other because that’s what we’re comfortable with.”

Business owners across southern New England are making the same decisions as Chamberlain, with a recommendation from the CDC for vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors again.

“We’re definitely just playing it by ear. Definitely leaning on the more cautious side.”

Blush Bakeshop only returned to in-person dining this month after over a year of doing takeout only.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island