Michigan retailers caught in a face mask dilemma

Face mask rules are a wedge issue for shoppers at Michigan stores.

Face masks are the law of the land in Michigan. Retailers must enforce usage by their staff and are strongly encouraged to require them of their shoppers.

But some store owners are finding themselves in a tough spot with regard to their customers who may or may not agree with the rules, according to a report on MLive.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

“It’s a no-win situation,” said Meeghan Holland, the vice president of communications and marketing for the Michigan Retailers Association.

“If you go into a store and you want to wear a mask and you see other customers not wearing masks, then you get angry at the store,” she said. “If you go into a store and they insist that you wear a mask and you don’t want to wear one, then you get angry at that.”

It’s not as simple as refusing service to people not following the rules. People have been assaulted and even killed during disputes over stores’ mask policies.

The policy “puts retailers in the role of enforcer,” Holland said. “That’s caused kind of a scary situation for some retailers who have had to deal with pretty belligerent customers on it.”

Retailers are enforcing the rules at different levels, including not enforcing them at all. That’s despite research that shows wearing a face mask can reduce the risk of infection by 85%.

You can read the full story here.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.