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Businesses wait for decision from county health department after new CDC guidelines

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The new mask guidance from the CDC has some businesses looking at possibly changing their policy, while Sedgwick County’s Health Department (SCHD) is still weighing its options.

The City of Wichita says they are currently following county guidelines and are waiting to consult SCHD about what’s next. This is leaving some businesses not sure what to do.

“I don’t know when I’m going to feel comfortable not wearing one here at work,” explained Sarah Leslie, the owner of Leslie Coffee Company.

Leslie has owned her coffee shop in the Delano Business District since late 2018, and when the pandemic hit, they moved to only to-go orders for customers.

Earlier this month they opened their indoor seating to customers once again, making these new CDC guidelines a surprise to Leslie, but she doesn’t know if it changes anything for her business.

“The caveat there is you really have to be vaccinated and it’s really hard for us to know who is and who isn’t.”

Sedgwick County says they won’t rush any decisions.

“We haven’t changed anything at the health department or the county at this point,” said SCHS director Adrienne Byrne. “We just needed to digest and understand more of where the recommendation comes from.”

Byrne says the county’s current vaccination numbers will impact the decision.

“We’re a long way from where we would need to be for herd immunity, so I think there are reasons to still be cautious,” Byrne explained.

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