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Comfort going out continues to increase, but beware of the un-masked un-vaccinated

Adults’ comfort in visiting restaurants and entertainment and arts venues continues to increase. Currently, two-thirds of adults are comfortable going to a restaurant, and half or nearly half are comfortable going to the movies or an amusement park. Of all entertainment and arts venues, museums continue to rank at the top with 57% comfortable. Concerts show the least comfort at 40%.

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For the first time, we see a consistency of comfort levels by generation. Here’s how they’ve merged for millennials and boomers going out to eat in a restaurant.


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Since the CDC changed its guidance on mask-wearing in May, a significant number of people going out are not vaccinated and not wearing face masks, but they should be.

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Roughly 20% of Americans say they won’t get vaccinated. The percentage varies with parts of the country, with Republican-learning states and rural areas showing significantly higher refusal. The refusal rate is 40% among Republicans and 30% in rural areas. The Washington Post reports the rate of Covid-19 infections among the unvaccinated is 73% higher than the national rate. In several states the rate of infection among the unvaccinated is as high as it was during the winter surge. The national unvaccinated national death rate is roughly the same as it was two months ago, and the hospitalization rate is as high as it was three months ago.


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“They think it’s safe to take off the mask. It’s not,” said Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “It looks like fewer numbers, looks like it’s getting better, but it’s not necessarily better for those who aren’t vaccinated.”

With the current challenges of hiring and retaining staff, with many restaurants and entertainment and arts venues unable to get fully staffed, this has implications.

Restaurants and entertainment, and arts venues should require all their staff to wear masks to protect them from all the unvaccinated non-mask wearer. Even if a staff member is vaccinated, they are only 91% protected from infection with the mRNA vaccines and 74% with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With staff shortages, the last thing businesses need to have is a staff member getting sick. Also, many people will feel more comfortable visiting a business where all staff is wearing masks. As of June 4th, IMPACTS Experience found that 62% of potential visitors planning to visit cultural venues in the next 90 days preferred mask requirements. Being as attractive as possible to customers is just good business.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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