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Reactions Mixed Over Yolo County Mask Mandate Going Into Effect Friday

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Yolo County is becoming the first in our area and just the second in the state to bring back a mask mandate. Starting Friday, face coverings will be required in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.

For those who are already vaccinated, the announcement comes with mixed reactions.

"Good, they should. I think everyone has gotten too lax and too comfortable," explained Lynita Harris in West Sacramento.

Patrick Figueroa, while shopping at Walmart, explained those who have already been vaccinated should have to worry about face coverings anymore.

"Now we have to go back to the mask -- even though we did what you said -- to avoid the mask, what the hell, we don't win either way," he said.

Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Amiee Sisson explained that since the state reopened on June 15, infections rates and hospitalizations have spiked, with the Delta variant making up 88 percent of COVID cases. Currently, there are 14 people in the hospital. Only one of those patients is fully vaccinated.

"It's pouring rain in the form of COVID and we all need to add an umbrella to our raincoat," explained Sisson.

The mandate is a shift in urgency from the county's recommendation made nearly two weeks ago.

"There is too much disease right now for anybody, including fully vaccinated people, to be going around indoors without a mask on," she said. "We have fully vaccinated people who may have previously thought that they were invulnerable to the virus and I think it is really important to communicate to everybody vaccinated and unvaccinated that they are vulnerable," said Sisson.

UC Davis announced Tuesday they will not wait to implement the new rules. Effective immediately, the University is requiring all their staff and students to wear masks while inside on the campus.

Clothing store Line in West Sacramento never stopped requiring their customers to mask up.

"I had a lot of customers that were annoyed," explained store manager Tania Molero. "They think just because they got vaccinated that they are not going to get sick and not get other people sick, and I don't believe that."

Businesses like Raley's, with three locations in the county, are preparing their staff and customers for the new changes.

"We are going to remind you that it's a mandate when you're in Yolo County. We are going to offer you a free mask, but again, at the end of the day, it's going to be kind of the customer's decision, explained spokesperson Chelsea Minor. "We would ask customers to be patient and understand that the rules are changing a little bit," she continued.

Capitol Bowl manager, Ron Amin, explained he is frustrated with the back and forth rules plans to leave it up to the customers to decide.

"Last time we enforced mask, we have been threatened, we have been called racist," he explained. "We keep hearing one thing than another, we are just trying to operate a business without telling people what to do. It's entertainment, people come here to have fun," explained Amin.

It's a COVID conflict Amin said his business should not have to deal with.

"We want people to stay healthy, we want people to stay safe, but we also don't want to be the ones policing everyone -- telling people what to do, that's not our job," he explained.

There is a bar in Woodland that was already planning to enforce masks for their unvaccinated customers before the county announced its decision. Dr. Sisson hopes the state will soon issue a state-wide mandate to put everyone on the same page.

If businesses in Yolo county do not enforce the mask mandate, Sisson said they could receive fines, as was the case during the first mask mandate.

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