SAN ANGELO, Texas — West Texas businesses are making decisions ahead of the mask mandate officially being lifted by Gov. Greg Abbott. On the other hand, health officials are concerned about this decision.
San Angelo’s Señor Changs restaurant owner and operator, Adrian Soto, has already made a decision for what he will allow his workers and customers to do at his restaurant.
"We've done our best to communicate with our customers of what we're doing. We're going to be allowing any customer to come in. Mask, no mask. Same thing with my staff. I'm allowing them to make their own decisions. I expected this to happen at some point. So, we're already had discussions as a team about what y'all would like to do and they've all decided that you know, everybody is going to do what they feel is best," Soto said.
Dr. James Vretis, local health authority for Tom Green County, wants community members to keep social responsibility in mind when deciding to wear or not wear their masks.
"So, if you get the option to wear a mask, wear your mask. It might not be a mandate doesn't mean you don't have a social responsibility to watch out for yourself and watch out for others,” Vretis said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.8% of Texans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sarah Ford, owner and founder of Ranch Road Boots. is another West Texas business owner left with a decision to make before her doors open next week.
"Business owners are trying to stay in business and so if they feel that you know, they can do what they choose to with their customer base. If it helps them or hurts them, you know, it's really on the business owner to make those economic decisions,” Ford said.
Business owners noted they will continue to do all they can to keep their workers and customers safe moving forward.