PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was the beginning of a new week and another step in returning to normal.
“I certainly hope so. I believe so,” Sister Suzanne of Bellevue said.
At 12:01 a.m. Monday, more the state mask mandate expired.
Local doctors and our state health leaders say we are in a “good spot” right now. They say if you’re sick with health issues, feel free to stay masked for extra protection.
Some people were happy to reach this point.
“I think it’s time. I think at least up here in Pennsylvania we have a large number that’s vaccinated,” Sister Suzanne said.
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It might not be time yet to go ahead and told those masks away.
“Like it’s in my brain to have it now so I’m not getting rid of it,” Bakaree Vearnon of Greenfield said.
In some spots, masks will still be required like the “T”, as the CDC requires it for any mass transportation. Businesses can also require masks.
The CDC also calls for wearing masks in hospitals or for a physical therapy appointment in a hospital-owned building.
“That little extra layer of protection of everyone wearing masks is gone, and it’s going to put you at slightly higher risk,” AHN Dr. Brian Lamb said in reference to unvaccinated people.
Dr. Lamb said masks may be needed if COVID-19 becomes seasonal.
“I think it might become fashionable for people to start wearing their masks during flu and cold season, which is usually our winter months. Maybe even for COVID season,” Dr. Lamb said.
“I’m still going to wear mine just because out of the safety of other people around me,” Vearnon said.
It’s recommended unvaccinated people wear masks in crowded settings.
Monday was a mask-free day in the South Hills, where people enduring the heat can grab some iced coffee and pour their own cream.
At the Coffee Tree Roaster in the South Hills, manager Josh Lenardos re-introduced himself to the regulars.
“A lot of people, we knew what their eyes looked like. But once they took off the mask, we were like now I know what you actually look like,” he said.
Some workers opted to stay masked behind the barrier that will stay.
“We are still leaving it up to the employee if they want to continue to wear their masks. We’re not forcing anyone to take it off if they don’t want to,” Lenardos said.
The signage posted outside nearby La Gourmandine bakery changed overnight.
“After we closed, we did change our signage to indicate that masks are no longer required. And we did open up our dine-in seating again at reduced capacity,” said employee Olivia Weiss.
A lot of business owners told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that they still haven’t gotten around to changing the posted signage. One business owner said masks are no longer required at her store, but she can’t get the sign off the door because it’s stuck.