Dane Co. businesses impose masking requirements following new CDC guidance

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Without a state or local mandate in place, it’s now on local businesses to decide whether to require customers to wear masks.

Following the CDC’s new guidance this week – which recommends everyone wear masks indoors in high-risk areas –Metcalfe’s Market is “strongly encouraging and respectfully requesting” all shoppers to mask up, regardless of vaccination status.

“The Delta variant is rising, we’re seeing cases rising, and really our main priority is keeping our people, our customers safe and being able to put food on the table of our communities,” said Amanda Metcalfe, Director of Employee Development.

Metcalfe says the grocer has been following CDC guidance since the pandemic began and plans to continue to do so. But at this point, she says the mask is just an ask.

“It’s not the most comfortable thing, however people understand it’s what we need to do to keep each other and our community safe,” Metcalfe said.

State Street business owner Laura Komai never stopped requiring masks in her store, Anthology. During the summer months especially, she says the store sees shoppers from all over the country, making masking up more important than ever.

“When I look at the vaccination numbers and when I look at the infection rates, I tend to look at the national numbers more than the county numbers because I think that’s a little more reflective of our customers and what levels we’re at,” Komai said.

The decision to require masks in Anthology was an individual one, Komai said. But when local businesses like hers have the support of the state and federal government, she says enforcing the masks becomes easier.

“As an individual business it really helps when we have the government and infrastructure that backs us up,” she said. “So it’s a lot easier today than it was a week ago for us to tell customers that you need to wear a mask just because we’ve had the county come out with their recommendation and the city has reinforced that.”

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