Some Businesses Making Face Masks Mandatory

Some Businesses Making Face Masks Mandatory

Rosanne Fortier
News Correspondent

Some of the businesses in the Town of Vegreville are starting to make it mandatory to wear a face mask before entering their business to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Walmart made masks mandatory on Aug. 10.

Adam Cherneski, Owner of Adam’s No Frills in Vegreville said he is waiting for the Mayor for the Town of Vegreville to say something before the store makes it mandatory for people to wear masks. “Our company has policies in place for protocols if there is a percentage of cases of COVID-19 and we are not anywhere near it. We are encouraging our staff and customers as well to wear masks but the thing is we are practicing social distancing. We are waiting to see what the municipality is going to do and I haven’t really heard much. I am happy with everything since we started this whole safety protocol for COVID-19; I think we did a great job containing it. If the time comes that the Town of Vegreville wants to mandate wearing a mask, we will totally take part in that. Right now, we are encouraging people to wear a mask. Otherwise, make sure you are social distancing, wash your hands and stay at home if you are sick.”

According to the Vegreville and District Co-op management they aren’t making it mandatory to wear a mask because it is not mandated to wear a mask in all stores in Vegreville.

When I asked citizens from Vegreville how they felt about being forced to wear a mask, I received various responses.

Pearl Kuhn said she feels it shouldn’t be mandatory; it should be a preference whether people want to wear a mask or not. There should be a vote held on whether to make masks wearing mandatory or not. “I wear a mask if I am close to people. It is hard for old people to wear masks but I am okay with wearing one. I don’t like to wear a mask but I do because I think it is safer that way. It is for your own and other people’s protections because when you are around people you never know who could be carrying the COVID-19 virus. I have my mask with me all the time so it is not hard to wear it. Then we can’t change that a few stores are making it mandatory to wear a mask in their store, so we should accept it,” Pearl said.

Another resident of Vegreville, Sian Vadnais, said she really supports people having to wear a mask in a business. “I think it is safer to wear a   mask. If I would be asymptomatic, I wouldn’t want to spread the COVID-19 virus to someone else who might be vulnerable. I wear a mask anyway, whether it is mandatory or not. It just seems to be a considerate thing to do.”

Eunice Henderson said she wears a mask when she goes to the grocery store or at other businesses where a lot of people are at. “I don’t know the advantage or disadvantage to wearing a mask, but I try to go along with what the world thinks is important to do.”

Jeannie Windels said masks and COVID-19 are a very delicate issue with people polarized on both ends of the spectrum. “However the science behind using masks makes sense if you consider that the virus spreads through the droplets that leave our mouths and by wearing masks we reduce the amount of droplets that can travel. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges to wearing masks and some people really struggle with it. As for individual businesses requiring them, I think it’s an important step towards reducing the spread of COVID. However, it can be difficult both for employees and individual business owners/managers to have to regulate on the issue. If it were a widespread, government regulation, there would be more uniformity across the business world, which would likely result in more effective implementation.”