Washington’s mask mandate ends, businesses return to normal

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“Return to normal.” That’s how some business owners and customers describe the first day without a statewide mask mandate.

In SnohomismThe Maltby Café was buzzing with orders and conversations, as some people are still trying to figure out their comfort level when it comes to dropping the masks.

“It’s nice to see people’s smiles and faces and, you know, you could still see the sparkle in people’s eyes over the masks but with the masks to see their faces again,” the owner said. Tana Baumler coffee.

Baumler said it’s been a while, but here we have breakfast and no mask is needed to enter the Maltby Café.

With the end of the statewide mask mandate, she and her trusty crew were able to focus on their appetizing menu items.

“It’s never been part of our job to have to do that in the first place, so it’s nice not to have to worry about people being a little upset and maybe not wanting the do,” manager Brendan Calvo said. .

It’s always a tough decision for some, to mask up or not, of course.

Baumler said his cooks have all decided to keep the masks on for now.

“They’re in the kitchen with their masks on, and those are the ones I felt the most sorry for because when it’s really hot it’s hard to keep them on,” Baumler said.

Some customers entered with masks.

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“For me, personally, I’m not ready because I’ve gone all this time without having it, and I’m not ready, I think it’s too soon,” Carla Woodworth said.

Meanwhile, other customers have decided to ditch the masks.

“No more masks, you know, I love it, man. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Look at my face, it’s totally busted because I’m wearing this mask. I mean you can see it,” said Darren Labay.

Workers said this moment was about as sweet as one of the cafe’s cinnamon rolls.

Some businesses closed during the pandemic, but they stayed afloat thanks to their customers.

Now they share this meal together, much like the good old days.

“We are so blessed here to be busy, and we have such a supportive crowd supporting us and the owners and all of us, and I really thanked God for how busy we are,” waitress Sarah Calvo said. .

Those we spoke to said it’s important that when people assess their comfort level, everyone has respect and understanding to move forward.

It’s important to remember that businesses, organizations, and local governments can still require masks.

The governor’s office said masks will also still be required in certain settings, including health care facilities, correctional facilities and long-term care facilities.

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