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Public Health follows up in Middleton coffee shop controversy

Explanation on coffee shop's personal mask policy
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:49 PM CDT
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MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) - Employees with Public Health Madison Dane County are following up with Helbachs coffee shop in Middleton.

Health officials said they’ve received many complaints about the business’s mask policy over the last two days and will call to speak with the shop’s owners.

Monday, a concerned customer posted on social media about a sign in the Helbachs’ window, instructing customers to remove their masks, and stating that it was a ‘mask free zone.’

No matter how you feel about masks, not cool at all to shame a 6 year old wearing one. She cried. We were following the Dane County mandate. We will not be back.

Posted by Jason Chance on Monday, July 13, 2020

That sign was not there when NBC15 crews stopped by.

On Tuesday NBC15 News spoke with one woman who was uncomfortable when she walked in and saw that the employees were not wearing masks and left without ordering.

“I have stage-four cancer, and I am very highly susceptible and I have gone very few places and it broke my heart,” Netta Arellano said. “You shouldn’t have to try, when you have cancer, to get someone to do the right thing.”

An NBC15 reporter spoke with a Helbachs employee who said the business does not require that customers wear masks because under the current order, Helbachs is considered part of the food industry, which makes it acceptable to remove masks inside when people are eating and drinking.

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