In parishes with lifted mask mandates, business owners make the mask decisions

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Working in a restaurant keeps you on your feet all day and over hot burners and fryers.

“It’s hot, the mask slips down things like that it starts to become a little aggravated, I never had a problem with it because I just do what I’m told but a lot of people do have a problem with the mask,” said Peter DiMartino.

Owner of DiMartino’s, DiMartino says he knows how his employees will feel about the lifted mask mandate, “I think they’re going to be very happy and there will be jubilation,” said DiMartino.

But he says they’ll likely take a “stepped-down” approach to requiring masks inside their Westbank restaurant.

“I’ll probably keep the mask on tomorrow and make sure everyone all of my customers are acclimated and that they know, the last thing I want is someone to call out someone who’s not wearing a mask when they don’t know the mask has been lifted,” said DiMartino.

“Being in Orleans Parish I’ve got a wait to see what Mayor Cantrell and Dr. Avegno have to say about it,” said Ronald Casey.

With clear signage on the front door of the Dry Dock Café, masks and social distancing are still very much enforced in Algiers.

“They hit the door and we tell them right there, hey you got to have a mask, but yeah we’ve had people get all upset but you get drunks all over the place,” said Casey.

Owner, Ronald Casey says until word from the city changes, they’ll keep with the mask habit. Especially, he says, because they serve far-traveling tourists daily.

“You don’t know if tomorrow you’re going to have four tourists come in here who have been exposed to it… I’m gonna tell my employees that I think it’s in their best interest to wear the masks,” said Casey.

Moreso than masks, both owners say it’s vaccines that are the more pressing issue.

“I think enough people have been vaccinated that that’s gonna come,” said DiMartino.

“One of the things that concerns me more than anything else is the number of people that won’t get the vaccine… if you don’t want to get it, then stay the hell away,” said Casey.

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