Workers Worry About Safety, Stress As States Ease Mask Rules

Leo Carney, kitchen manager at McElroy's Harbor House in Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, said the removal of coronavirus restrictions will disproportionately impact Black residents — many of whom are essential workers, Friday, March 5, 2021. Carney said he would feel better with restrictions being removed if essential workers had access to the coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP) — Workers such as restaurant servers and retail clerks are balancing the anticipation of better earnings with concerns about keeping themselves safe as states lift mask mandates and ease restrictions on businesses. Some workers say they’re worried about getting COVID-19 as crowds return and resistance from co-workers and customers when they try to enforce their employers’ ongoing mask requirements. What’s more, essential workers like bartenders and cooks aren’t yet eligible in many states to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Health experts tracking the trajectory of new virus variants warn that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to another lethal wave of infections. They are urging people to continue covering their faces regardless of state rules.


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