SHOREWOOD — Wisconsin’s first indoor mask mandate went into effect Friday in Shorewood. Unless people are eating or drinking, anyone 4 years or older is now required to wear a face mask inside Shorewood businesses.
Whether you’re going to a Shorewood grocery store, bank, restaurant, or coffee shop, face masks must be worn to receive service according to the ordinance. Ronald Sims thinks it’s a good thing.
“It’s going to hopefully cut back on the number of people that get infected,” Sims said.
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Stone Creek Coffee manager Buddy Garczynski said his company has required employees to wear masks ever since they reopened months ago. Customers will now be kindly reminded to do the same.
“Personally as an asthmatic, I do appreciate when people come in with masks on as this virus affects me a lot,” he said.
Jessica Carpenter is the village trustee behind the initiative.
“Our businesses were actually one of the initial people in our community that were asking for it,” she said. “They wanted a way to be able to enforce a mask mandate without them being the bad guy.”
The proposal unanimously passed Shorewood’s village board this week, but not without some opposition from residents.
“It is not about you, it is about others,” Carpenter said. “You are protecting others from continuing to spread the virus.”
Carpenter said the village is taking an educational approach to enforcement. Those in noncompliance aren’t at risk of getting a fine. Instead, if someone is reported to the village for not wearing a mask, they will receive a warning letter in the mail.
Milwaukee Brat House owner Andrew Fronek said his customers will be provided free disposable masks.
“The last thing that any of us want is for businesses to have to close again and for another Stay at Home order to go into place,” he said.
Ultimately, Fronek believes more customers will feel comfortable dining in because of this mandate.
The Village of Shorewood encourages anyone who is within 6 feet of others outside to wear masks, but they are not required outdoors at this time.
Shorewood's indoor mask mandate will remain in effect until January 2021. Carpenter said it includes schools if the Shorewood School District decides to have students back in the classroom this fall.