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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Unmasked in Marion County: Businesses respond to the changes

Even though those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask, health officials acknowledge it's on the honor system now.

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County's mask mandate has ended, at least for people who are fully vaccinated. But that doesn't mean you should ditch your mask. They're still required at hospitals, the airport and while using public transportation. Businesses, too, can still require you to wear a mask. 

The Voom Room, a salon in Speedway, is one of the businesses keeping the mask policy in place, at least for now.

Owner Kori Ritter said, "even though we are spaced out in the stations, your service provider is going to be in pretty close contact with you."

Credit: WTHR
Kori Ritter, the owner of the Voom Room, said her salon is one of the businesses keeping the mask policy in place, at least for now.

And she said that's not something that can be changed. It's the nature of the business.

"What we're trying is do is protect our employees and patrons the best we can so we're navigating it week by week," she said.

Credit: WTHR
The Voom Room, a salon in Speedway, is one of the businesses keeping the mask policy in place, at least for now.

The Children's Museum is also holding off on making any changes until its advisory panel of health experts provides more guidance. It's expected to release a revised mask policy within the next several days.

A spokesman for Wheeler Mission told 13News masks will continue to be required at all of its congregant shelters.

Sullivan Hardware is one of the businesses that promptly removed its "Please wear a mask" signs from its stores.

Owner Pat Sullivan said he was relieved employees no longer had to worry about how to address customers who walked in without wearing a mask.

"Everyone has a different feeling about masks, and businesses were in an awkward position of really enforcing the mandate of Marion County," Sullivan said.

Even though those not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask, health officials acknowledge it's on the honor system now. Sullivan said he has asked his employees to abide by the rules.

"We have a lot of young people we've been pushing along to get vaccinated, even providing incentives with PTO time and cash bonuses," he said.

The owner of the Yats on College Avenue was unaware the City-County Council had voted Monday night to lift the mask mandate.

When told, Jim Vuskovich immediately removed his mask, revealed a broad smile and said, "it feels good. It's been on my face a long time now."

Minutes later he walked to the entrance and removed the bright yellow sign that read "YOU NEED A MASK."

Credit: WTHR
Jim Vuskovich, the owner of Yats on College Avenue, removes a bright yellow sign that reads "YOU NEED A MASK."

Vuskovich said, "You can see people don't want to do this anymore. People are tired of it...They want to go back to normal, feel like they used to."

Still, Vuskovich said he wouldn't be surprised if several of his employees kept wearing masks as a precaution, given their regular and close contact with customers.

As he returned to the kitchen, he too slipped on his mask, possibly out of habit. Minutes earlier he said while he was "pretty excited" about no longer having to wear one, he added, "you get used to it. It's part of life now."  

And a habit that could take some time to break.