Knoxville businesses talk updated mask policies following new CDC guidance


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Another round of businesses announced updated mask policies on Monday.

Target and Food City joined the list of stores no longer requiring masks for fully vaccinated employees and shoppers.

This comes after the recent changes to CDC guidance, which say fully vaccinated people can stop wearing a mask in most indoor settings.

But unlike the national retailers, Lox Salon in Knoxville’s Old City says it’s just a little too soon to step inside without a mask.

“We are a close contact business so for us, it’s still kind of a risk for us,” owner Brynn Crowell said.

Crowell says Lox Salon is keeping mask-wearing in place for now.

“It’s exciting that we’ll eventually be able to take these masks off. I know we want to take them off as much as the next person. But because we’re working so closely with our guests, and not being able to require them to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated, it’s just a risk that we’re just not willing to take at this time. At least until all of our employees are 100 percent vaccinated,” Crowell said.

Just around the corner on Gay Street, Bliss is pretty much following the recent CDC guidance to a T.

“We are not mandating masks anymore in our store for people who are vaccinated. If people have not not yet been vaccinated, which I strongly urge them to get vaccinated, we do still require them to wear a mask,” co-owner Scott Schimmel said. “We’re not going to require people to show us their vaccination card or anything like that. Basically, it’s the honor system. If people have been vaccinated come on in, no need to have a mask. If you haven’t been vaccinated, please wear a mask.”

“For us, I think it is a little soon. But it does show that there is hope around the corner,” Crowell said.

Lox Salon’s owner is thankful for her clients who are understanding of her shop’s stance.

“They do know that for us, it’s really important. And even if the next business isn’t requiring it, they know when they walk in, they’re very apologetic, they’ll put a mask right on, and I’m so appreciative of that, of the community, of being able to just understand and to be patient with all of this,” Crowell said.

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