CHICO, Calif. - People are ready to return back to a normal life but not without concern as a new variant was detected in Butte County Wednesday.
The manager at Ellis Art and Engineering Supply said the gamma variant, previously called the Brazil variant, does concern her.
Jenny Herman was getting ready to fully reopen next Tuesday.
"Put a new sign on the door, removing the one saying that everyone must be masked and I was going to find new signs that say if you have been vaccinated you can come in mask free but we would appreciate if you haven't been vaccinated to please keep on your mask,” said Herman.
The gamma variant that was first detected in Brazil is now in Butte County.
Butte County Public Health said it is more contagious and can cause a more severe COVID-19 infection than other variants.
"I am a little concerned that we are going to be starting this whole process over again,” said Herman. “I don't want to get it or anyone I know to get it or anyone."
Some people shared having this new variant present in their community is concerning especially with more and more people who will be walking around downtown next week without wearing a mask.
"It is scary because there are people like me who are choosing not to get vaccinated because of other concerns,” said Chico resident Stephanie Zuniga. “There is going to be indoor places that aren't going to be requiring people to wear a mask so that creates a higher risk of getting sick and spreading it even."
"It's scary because I know a lot of people who are at risk,” said Chico resident Alex Stock. “I myself am at risk because I have asthma, so it is scary. You want to be safe and we are living in times where everyone is not doing their civic duty."
Studies show current vaccines are not as effective against the gamma variant as with the others.
State officials said today if you're fully vaccinated you can lose your mask in most public situations with the exception of healthcare facilities, on public transit, correctional facilities and homeless shelters.