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Local business owners react to possible mask mandate

More California counties are joining Los Angeles County in recommending everyone wear masks indoors even if vaccinated. So far, that's not the case in Riverside County or statewide.

Many local businesses have been seeing more demand since the state reopened, and don't want to head in the opposite direction.

"I mean, it would be tough, just because I know a lot of other small business owners. And usually, that means we're going in the wrong direction," said co-owner of Hermano flower shop Adrian Romero. "We're just tired. But I don't know, it's also like, I don't want to be selfish, you know because there is a lot of people that are being affected by COVID."

As of this morning, the state of California reports Riverside County has 142 hospitalizations and 25 in the ICU. That's 26 more hospitalized and one more in the ICU compared to July 19.

Cases are rising and the spread of the delta variant doesn't help. Co-owner of Haven Training Center, Christian Ceja, said he'll do what it takes to keep his doors open.

"As a business, you go into the day knowing that the rules that you have to abide by, even if you don't necessarily agree with them, because you have to do what you need to do to continue to survive as a business," said Ceja.

Ceja understands if the mask mandate were to return, he would likely lose customers.

"You're going to lose some people. But the idea is we need to make decisions that will allow us to continue running a business," said Ceja. "If that means that we lose a couple of people for now, and gain them back down the line, well that's what we gotta do."

Riverside County health officials have said they will continue to monitor case numbers and follow state guidelines.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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