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Local businesses plan ahead as masks mandate is lifted for vaccinated Michiganders

Posted at 10:28 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 22:45:15-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Today marked the first day of Michigan's new mask requirements, which says people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear one, and those not vaccinated must only do so indoors.

With the rules changing rapidly, local businesses are now trying to manage it all.

Places like the YMCA of greater Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan Credit Union Ballpark are lifting the use of masks in most instances.

Despite these places lifting their mask mandates, some local business owners are staying cautious.

“You’re not walking in my door without having a mask on," said Dawn Levin, the owner of Break Room Therapy in Byron Center, whose customers are required to wear a mask unless they show a vaccination card. “I feel like when people come here, they are coming to a safe space that they can decompress from their stress and if I say I’m going to protect you, then I need to stand behind what I’m saying.”

Other places, like restaurants Fox 17 talked to earlier this week, are hesitant to ask for proof of the shot.

These businesses say they could put their staff at risk if a customer gets upset.

In Michigan, there is no law prohibiting businesses from requesting to see a card. The new order says only a "good faith effort", like posting signs, must be made to ensure those aren't vaccinated mask up.

“This news came very suddenly at the end of the week," said Emily Loekes, Director of Community Affairs for Celebration Cinema.

Loekes noted that MIOSHA policy still requires employees to wear them. The movie theater chain hopes additional guidance helps businesses during this time.

“We’re going to make the best decisions that we can for shared and collective experiences and you know, we’re kind of wading through a murky end of pandemic phase and so we just ask our community to be gracious to each other," Loekes said.

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