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Fox Valley business reacts to big box stores implementing mask mandates

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 4:41 PM CDT
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Target, CVS, Goodwill and Woodman’s Supermarket are the latest of a growing number of stores announcing they will implement mask requirements for customers. Other major chains with mask rules include Walmart, Kroger (which owns stores like Pick n’ Save), Costco, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Menards, and Dollar Tree.

Local chains like Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore already implemented mask requirements for customers.

“We feel that masks are proven to work, so we said, to make this a safe place for everyone in the community, we’re requiring them of not only our staff and volunteers but of our customers as well,” said Amy Ristow, chief operating officer of Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity.

Ristow says free masks are provided to customers that don’t have one. People who refuse to wear them are asked to leave.

“There’s a few that weren’t happy with it, as is I’m sure true anywhere, but they understand,” said Ristow. “Many, however, are thankful we’re requiring it.”

Now that practice is becoming more widespread, with more national retailers now asking customers to wear masks as well.

“I’m happy. Frustrated it took this long, to tell you the truth, but really happy,” said Ristow. “I mean, the only way we’re going to open up this economy is if we can keep people safe, healthy and working, so I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Plenty of customers are excited by the change.

“I think it’s a really incredible and important step in the current situation with COVID. Like, it’s not getting better, and so by implementing these strategies we can at least protect ourselves for things that we need to go and do,” said Linnea Greaves from Green Bay. “And by these big stores doing it, I think it sets a precedent for a lot of outside stores and companies…. I think it helps people realize how important it is.”

“I think it’s good to make sure everyone’s watching out for other people’s safety. Even if they don’t think they’re at risk, other people are at risk,” said Meghan Bain from Green Bay. “So I think it’s important not to spread anything wherever you’re going.”

Though some see it as a double-edged sword.

“It is people’s right to do as they please, and if they wish to expose themselves to things like this or different things along those lines, that should be their right,” said Kaylye Balthazor from Appleton. “But in compliance to keeping others safe and to keep from spreading disease from your point, you should be taking those precautions just in case, because it’s asymptomatic [for some people]. You don’t know, you never know until you’re tested for it.”

Many hope once the mask precaution is implemented in big box stores it will slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I hope this’ll make a big difference,” said Ristow.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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