New businesses requiring face masks to combat the spread of COVID-19

Posted at 8:50 PM, May 04, 2020

If you don’t have a face mask yet, you might want to consider getting one soon. More businesses are requiring that customers cover their face from big chain stores to medical facilities, all in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Wearing a face mask isn’t anything new for Charlie Maris from Muskego. He’s been doing it for a while.

“Me and my wife have been wearing masks basically every time we’ve been shopping,” Maris said. “I don’t mind it. I’d rather keep it on and keep people safe than not wear it.”

In fact, there is a growing list of businesses and places making face coverings mandatory, from Costco to Menards, Froedtert Hospital and a number of airlines.

Some of them exempt young children. Others will provide or sell you a mask if you don’t have one for now, but ask that you prepare to have your own.

Experts say that when you wear a face mask; you’re protecting both yourself and others from the virus, according to Dr. Mary Beth Graham of Froedtert Hospital.

“It’s just an extra added layer of protection,” Dr. Graham said. “It’s becoming more and more evident that there are people who can asymptomatically carry this virus.”

State Health officials addressed the mandatory face mask rules during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing.

“Given how highly contagious the virus is and how people can spread or transmit the virus before they’re having symptoms, having large numbers of people wearing masks can prevent the virus from getting into the environment,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard.

However, not everyone is accepting of the new rules, with many sharing their views in the comments on Costco’s Facebook page.

One person said, “Many are already wearing masks. Why make it a rule? Let people use their discretion.” Another person said, “When Costco honors my right to choose I will shop there again.”

Rules are constantly changing at businesses and other facilities. Before you head out for your next trip to the store or somewhere else, make sure to check their website or call ahead for any mask requirements.

To learn how to make your own mask with or without any sewing equipment based on the CDC guidelines click here.

It's also important to note that wearing a mask does not replace social distancing. Health officials say you still need to try to stay at least 6 feet away from others you come in contact with.

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