While some big corporations start to require employee vaccinations, many local businesses say they won't follow suit

Posted at 12:37 PM, Jul 30, 2021

This week, the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors. With this new announcement, businesses are faced with tough decisions when it comes to bringing people back into the workplace.

Big companies like Facebook and Google are delaying their return-to-work plans and calling for mandatory vaccinations due to the surge of the delta variant.

The tech giants' vaccine requirements could influence other employers to follow suit, but in San Luis Obispo, most business owners aren't requiring employees to get the shot.

"We encouraged all of our staff to get vaccinated and left it up to them to make that decision and everyone actually did, so [we're] very fortunate that everyone's on the same page here,” said Emily Reser, general manager at Lincoln Market Deli.

Employers say many of their workers voluntarily got vaccinated to continue working.

"Everyone's wanting to work, so they're here working,” Reser said.

Others say their employees got the vaccine for other reasons.

Passport owner Chris Limon said, "A lot of the employees got vaccinated to be able to not to have to wear masks."

Even though the CDC changed its opinion of mask wearing, some business owners aren't going to enforce mask wearing until it's a mandate.

"Until it's actually mandated, we're not going to require the employees to wear it because they did what they're supposed to do,” Limon said.

But local businesses say they're ready to go back to their COVID-19 business model if another lockdown were to take place.

"We were doing just takeout only, phone orders, or you'd order at the door here. We were doing grocery shopping for people, so anything that we can do to keep the community thriving is what we hope to do,” Reser said.

Limon added, "Hopefully we don't go into another shutdown but if we do, we definitely, I guess, dust off the fiberglass and put up the six-feet distances again."

For now, it's still up to private companies whether they want to require vaccines for their employees as a condition of working there.