As Kentucky continues to loosen its coronavirus safety restrictions, businesses are faced with making their own decisions when it comes to their safety policies.
The CDC’s latest guidance allows fully vaccinated people to no longer have to wear masks both outdoors and indoors except in certain circumstances. Kentucky has said it will be lifting capacity restrictions and mask mandates for everyone June 11.
While some businesses are allowing people claiming to be fully vaccinated to not wear masks, others like Cultured Cheese and Charcuterie Board are still requiring masks for all guests and employees until the state lifts its mandate.
“There’s not really any good way to check vaccination cards and to keep doing that over and over again unless you do something like a theme park where you put a wristband on people once they’re checked,” owner Jessica Mattingly said.
According to Demetrius Holloway, an employment attorney with Stites and Harbison, businesses are allowed to ask their employees and customers about their vaccination status. He said they are even allowed to ask for vaccination cards as proof as long as the information stays confidential.
“What we traditionally would say is those questions are prohibited under the ADA because it’s a medically related inquiry, but here, we’re looking more at the CDC, which has said that we are looking at an issue that is a safety issue and not a medically related inquiry,” he said.
Andy Blieden, the owner of the Butchertown Market building and the co-owner of Work the Metal, said his business will continue following its coronavirus protocols for the time being.
“We want to err on the side of being safe,” he said. “So we are going to continue to do the protocols that we have in place as far as cleanliness and wiping things down and keeping masks on.”
“You don’t know if they’re vaccinated or not, so I think just kicking it up to gear when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning,” Mattingly said.
Blieden said the pandemic has been tough for many businesses, though some of his tenants have adapted well to the challenges of the pandemic and are expanding. He said all business owners are ready to lose the masks at some point when they feel it is safe enough to do so.
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