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Some fully vaccinated Washington residents aren't ready to go maskless

Despite relaxed mask requirements for the vaccinated, many are choosing to still wear face coverings in stores.

SEATTLE — As major retailers begin to relax mask rules for the fully vaccinated, there are some shoppers who don't yet feel comfortable going into stores without one.

Costco was among the first stores in the U.S. to require masks last year, at the onset of the pandemic. A year later, they are among the first to relax their mask guidelines for fully vaccinated people in states that have changed their guidelines.

Trader Joe's has a similar policy of letting fully vaccinated shoppers go inside without wearing a mask. However, many shoppers in Seattle are deciding to continue wearing a face-covering despite being fully vaccinated.

"I'm feeling confident but I think I need to be trained to not have a mask on," said Tyler Donnelly, who shopped at a Trader Joe's in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood Saturday.

Others felt it a courtesy to continue wearing a mask if they're shopping in indoor spaces.

"We want just to feel secure and we want other people to feel comfortable with us," said Joanna Kowalski, who rode her bike to the PCC Community Market in Ballard from Bellevue.

Shoppers who bring their children with them also wondered about mask rules for kids, who have yet to be vaccinated.

"I think without rules in place, we're just waiting. Like I said, I want clear direction," said Molly Severson, a nurse in Seattle who is also a mom to a young daughter.

Severson said clearer guidelines on the mask update would be helpful for her.

"I think we're just used to it at this point. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, " Severson said.


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