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Small businesses are hopeful as fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks

Posted at 10:51 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 23:51:20-04

WACO, TX — It's masks off for people who have received full doses of the coronavirus vaccination.

"This is a reason to celebrate, back to normalcy, right? So I think again everyone is ready to get back out," says Brian Brooks, a bartender at Klassy Glass in Waco.

Not being required to wear a mask is a moment millions have been waiting for after over a year of health experts urging masks, trying to slow the spread of coronavirus.

"Now with the vaccines, we can be proactive against COVID, and now we've reached a point that we're actively stopping this pandemic," says Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

This applies to indoor and outdoor activities, regardless of how many people are around.

For small businesses like Klassy Glass, the staff hopes the effectiveness of the vaccines will make more people feel safe to go out for food and drinks again.

"There's been so many losses in this, especially loss of life, that is heart-wrenching. I'm just happy to see that people are getting vaccinated, they're getting back out there and we're able to have some sort of normalcy come back," says Carrie Johnson, the co-owner and manager for Klassy Glass.

Klassy Glass has been in Waco for 5 years and supports local artists while hosting open mic nights on Mondays.

They say sales are about half of what they were pre-pandemic and are improving.

"There's definitely been a lot more people, a lot more people traveling into town, even the locals are just excited to get out of the house. Everyone's been coming to the bar and hanging out with us, it's been so much fun," says Brooks.

Johnson says Klassy Glass is still struggling with staff shortages and hopes to bring live music on the weekends.

In the meantime, they're excited to see the smiles of their customers, that have been hidden behind a mask.

"To see that we've made these strides and successes as a community and as a nation is wonderful, let's not stop now, let's keep those vaccinations," says Craine.

The health department says there's no longer a wait-list for vaccinations, so if you're ready, reserve a time.

Walk-ins are now welcome too.