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As mandate ends, some local businesses choose mask-optional approach

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 13:31:28-05

As San Luis Obispo County lifts the mask mandate, Tigerlily Salon is beginning to allow customers to choose whether or not they wear a mask, citing customer comfort as their main concern.

"I would say 90% of our clients have chosen to keep the mask on. So did our staff," said Tigerlily Salon Owner Larella Ellsworth.

The county lifted its mask mandate Wednesday, and so did many other businesses. But some decided to keep them in place or provide a hybrid option, especially places like hair salons where people are in close contact.

The salon is taking precautions to ensure each customer is comfortable and safe no matter what they choose to do.

"If they are at the station and they choose to take their mask off, they feel a little bit more safe because they aren't up against each other, and there is a UV light air purifier between every station," said Ellsworth.

Despite having the option to drop their mask, most customers have chosen to wear them indoors.

"I have found most everybody is keeping them on," said Leah Heidler, a hairstylist at Tigerlily Salon.

Some still haven't forgotten the outcome from when the last mask mandate was lifted.

"I feel like a lot of people remember there [were] like three weeks last summer where we all took them off, and the numbers rose again," said Heidler.

Customers are determined to keep case numbers down, stay healthy and stop the spread.

"So I think everyone is just kind of out of an abundance of caution, you know, just being safe," said Heidler.