BERKS COUNTY, Pa. – As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new guidance for wearing masks, which have served as a symbol and constant reminder the pandemic, many are looking back on months spent mostly masked.
"You feel like you're in jail," said Linda Sterner, Fleetwood. "It took your freedom away."
"It's been hard even for a glasses user," said Christopher Docid, Reading. "I can barely breathe. You sweat. People can barely hear me."
Now, many are hearing the latest CDC directives: Fully vaccinated people don't need face coverings outside and in most indoor settings. Pennsylvania is following suit, but masks must still be worn by unvaccinated people until 70% of adults in the state get a shot.
"It'll be nice not to worry about just like remembering my mask, and being able to see people and having that normal face-to-face interaction we haven't had," said Kendra Hafer, Reading.
As many react to the latest CDC and state guidance regarding masks, Berks County continues to push for as many people as possible to get vaccinated at its Muhlenberg Township clinic.
"We know it's not going to be closing any time soon because even if we have 100 to 200 people a day, that's better than no one," said Kevin Barnhardt, county commissioner. "And there are still other vaccine clinics being conducted."
The state says the new mask guidelines should serve as an added incentive for people to get vaccinated, as the county continues to up its numbers.
"I know the VA is going to be running one next week," Barnhardt said about other local vaccination clinics. "We are trying to get everyone and anyone who wants to step forward and get started."