Washington begins, "no mask, no service" policy

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV)- The “no mask, no service” policy went into effect in Washington state on Tuesday, requiring businesses not to serve customers who do not wear a face covering unless that person has a medical reason.

In Vancouver just about every business in the downtown area had a sign posted reminding customers masked were required.

At Vinnie’s New York Style Pizza, co-owner Vinnie Coco says for the most part people have been following the state guidelines when it comes to wearing a mask.

“So far this week I have noticed everybody wearing them,” Coco said.

He and other business owners say they are happy to be open.

“I feel like if it is a measure that we are taking to regulate the spread it is not that hard to put that mask on keep everyone safe,” Coco said.

They are not alone, Cory Gilday who owns Gilday Sport Conditioning Gym says he hasn’t always seen eye to eye with state leadership on the response to COVID-19.

“I will be the first to admit, I was super upset in the beginning with the way the leadership was going and now I am kind of realizing maybe they had a good idea of what is going on,” Gilday said.

He adds he is masked up and his gym is taking every precaution possible, if not more. Gilday says clients are screened daily through an app. He adds if the state requires people to wear a mask and that is what keeps them in business, he is all for it.

Most business owners who spoke to FOX 12 say they would rather be open than take a step backward with another shutdown.

“I know people don’t believe it might not help that much but, if it helps just a little bit, we need all the help we can get,” Gilday said.

Dr. Alan Melnick with Clark County Public health says wearing a face covering should not be a political issue. He says it is a simple step to get past this virus.

“We shouldn’t have to argue, make it a political point to argue about no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service,” Melnick said, “it is really an obligation we have to protect others around us.”

Melnick adds, doctors are concerned with the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Clark County and around the region.

“My big concern is that right now we are seeing more case and there is a lag time and we will begin to see hospitalizations and death,” Melnick said.

Clark County Sheriff’s Deputies say they won’t be enforcing the mask mandate, adding it falls to the Washington’s Labor and Industries Department. Deputies will step in if things get out of hand, like if a person refuses to leave a business.

Those who wish to report a person or business violating the state’s mask requirement should not call 911 but rather urged to reach out to the state’s Labor and Industries Department.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(6) comments

Frederick Fukov

When will the nutjob liberals in Washington change the name of their state, because they just now are realizing that George Washington was a slave owner?

Beyondthewhy

Thanks Washington, you're just going to extend the virus out longer with thousands more dying in the process. Our only hope if to reach herd immunity and that means 60 - 70% infected. Look at Sweden, no forced shutdowns or house arrest orders and they are doing just fine. They have attained herd immunity!

sagebrush

Wrong.

Delta85

I can I counter that with No mask until our leaders stop the violence downtown and elsewhere!

SAlley

I am happy to see more people wearing masks, in crowded, public places. I have no problem with "mandates", regarding masks. I do, however, disagree with putting the burden of enforcement on businesses. Most of their employees are working for minimum wage, or not much above, not enough to put up with the abuse of beligerent anti-maskers. It is not the businesses that should be penalized for people who do not comply, but the person who refuses to wear a mask, when there is no medical or emotional reason not to.

Frederick Fukov

You're right, this puts innocent employees in harms way. There was a story in the news the other day about a worker who told a customer he needs to get a mask, and the store even offered to give him one, and he stabbed the employee.

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