DALLAS - Some North Texas businesses are trying to decide if they should change their own mask policies after the CDC changed its guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing a mask only for those who live in a high-risk area for COVID-19.
Most of North Texas is not considered high-risk.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal to small businesses, as there have many issues to juggle, including polarizing decisions like whether or not to require masks. Now, the CDC is saying most people can ditch masks.
Lisa’s Soul Food Cafe is a family operated restaurant.
"We’ve been in business for 35 years," Lisa’s Soul Food Café owner Lisa Davis said.
Davis’ loved ones help her run it.
"I couldn’t do it all by myself," she added.
They also help enforce rules for customers, such as, wearing a mask while inside.
"If you don’t want to wear the mask, you don’t have to, but then again, I don’t have to serve you either," Davis said.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting the way businesses operate, from supply chain issues, to health and safety guidelines.
"Food prices, out of the sky," Davis said.
New CDC guidance, however, is changing the outlook.
"If the CDC says you don’t have to wear the mask, let’s just face it, most people going to say, ‘Hey, the CDC says you don’t have to wear a mask,’" said Craig Blackmon, who works at Lisa’s Soul Food Café.
New guidance says that most healthy Americans in places of low community spread can ditch masks.
"We’ve seen significant decreases in active positive cases. We’ve seen significant decreases in hospitalizations, ICU stays," said Steve Miff, president and CEO for Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation.
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation said COVID-19 data in North Texas points toward a manageable stage.
[REPORTER: "Is it safe to say we are pushing toward an endemic?"]
"It certainly looks that way," Miff responded.
Still, Miff warns that potential new variants might move the needle backwards.
"There’s always the possibility," he said.
The CDC cites growing immunity because of infections and vaccinations as creating a generally lower risk of severe disease.
Many North Texas businesses are already not requiring masks, but ones like Lisa’s are now evaluating what to do, while trying to keep customers happy and employees safe.
"If the CDC says you don’t have to wear a mask, and then we turn around and say well you have to put a mask on, that could be a problem. So we’re going to weigh our options," Blackmon said.
"I’d just like to do the right thing," Davis added. "God has really, really, really blessed us."
"We can’t complain…We’ve got a community that loves us," Blackmon said. "Like I said, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I really don’t."
Dallas County announced it has revised its mask mandate to only requiring masks for areas like jails, healthcare facilities, and long-term care facilities. That’s despite Governor Greg Abbott issuing orders banning local mask mandates.