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SoCal Business Owners And Patrons Confused Whether Masks Will Be Required Indoors

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can largely stop wearing a mask in most indoor and outdoor situations, according to revised guidance released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The announcement, however, does not immediately reverse existing mask-wearing requirements in Los Angeles County or in California as a whole.

L.A. County requirements allow fully vaccinated residents to shed masks while indoors with other fully vaccinated people. But mask mandates remain in place for everyone working at or patronizing businesses -- such as grocery stores or retail shops.

Some local business owners in LA and Orange County said Friday they don't want to be the 'mask enforcement police,' and need more clarity about what the new mandates will be.

"You just have to take the customer's word for it because how do you prove the person is vaccinated unless you demand to see a vaccine card?" said Reva Renz, owner of Renz Social House in Tustin.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said local mask requirements won't be changing until at least late next week when state Occupational Health and Safety regulators meet to consider possible changes to worksite masking guidelines.

Ferrer's comments echo those being heard across the country, as health officials weigh the continued protection of workers who may not be vaccinated -- and the thorny question of how business owners and employers can verify who has actually been vaccinated.

The revised CDC guidance was announced in response to repeated studies showing the effectiveness of the vaccines, offering people who have been inoculated a great deal of protection against infection or severe illness if they are infected.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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