It is always good advice not to stake your health on advice from someone ranting in the grocery store parking lot about a plot to kill everyone it the world. Currently, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering while out in foil definition public which you can read here and here. Abbott also made clear at a news conference last week that "if businesses want to limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols, they have the right to do so." "Typically people that would be contrary enough not to wear a mask may be more inclined to make an issue of not wearing a mask," Garrett said. "That then could turn into assault. If you start shoving the manager, hitting the manager, pulling a gun -- then there's all sorts of serious felonies that could result beyond the simple charge of criminal trespass."
- Just to be clear, a business can refuse to serve you if the business is requiring you to wear one.
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- Marion County announced Wednesday morning that its mask policy will be relaxed next month for people who are fully vaccinated.
- In an interview with NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, Wiley said, "State and local governments have really quite broad authority" to require the public to wear masks during a pandemic.
It also appeared that the woman claimed masks do not protect against coronavirus, saying "Go look on the package it will tell you it will not protect you from COVID-19." President Joe Biden blasted Texas' move to drop its mask mandate as "Neanderthal thinking," saying mask-wearing still matters and "it’s critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science." Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo similarly emphasized the rights of business owners in a tweet last week shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the lifting of the mandate. Despite these new policies, businesses can still require employees and patrons to wear masks. For instance, a business may not refuse service to a customer because of their race, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
Verify: With Mask Regulations Loosening, Can Businesses Still Require You To Wear A Mask?
Businesses with established customers inhabit sketchier ground because the contract with customers is often more implied than explicit, especially in weird areas like mask wearing. Suffice it to say, like clubs, they cannot break occupational licensing or other laws. The message that wearing a mask protects other people isn't really getting through for some folks. So we're seeing a lot of rhetoric about how it should be a personal choice to decide to take a risk instead of focusing on how we don't know who's infected and could be spreading the virus to others.
Why Businesses Can Still Require Masks After States Drop Mandates
Outside of healthcare and food prep requirements pre-dating Covid, forcing employees to wear masks without a government mandate to do so also must run afoul of numerous labor laws and OSHA regulations. It is true that employees who don’t like to mask can quit but the same could be said for employees being sexually harassed. And forcing someone, especially someone who has survived Covid or had a “vaccine,” to wear a mask 8 hours a day is a form of harassment, even if all employees are instructed to wear masks. A boss who propositions all employees regardless of age, gender, and so forth isn’t guilty of discrimination but s/he has harassed employees because the behavior is legally and morally unacceptable.
Trying to enforce a more lenient “face covering” rule under NSx3 precedent is also fraught. NSx3 rules were created ostensibly to keep “hippies” out of stores circa 1970 but they have also been handy for excluding other “undesirables,” including a much younger and poorer version of myself and sundry other hyphenated Americans. I do not claim that NSx3 rules are inherently racist, only that they have been used by racists, which makes them suspect given that they serve no clear purpose. When it comes to expert opinion, it’s good practice to continue wearing masks indoors, pointed out Patrick E. Jackson, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Virginia. Masks help slow the spread, but a well-funded and coordinated testing strategy is the foundation of that modern response that we know is far more effective even than mask wearing. That means if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC says no mask is needed in any setting EXCEPT where there is a federal, state or local law — or a rule or guidance established inside a local business.
Imagine you are a Texas and Mississippi business that wants employees and customers to wear masks this week, even though the state is no longer requiring them. If a significant number of people refuse to abide by private mask requirements, Garrett said it could easily become "an enforcement nightmare" and strain resources of already understaffed local police departments. "As a reminder to our fellow Texans, private businesses enjoy property rights and may require folks to wear a mask," Acevedo wrote.
That same month, masked banditti struck four banks in Cambridge alone, including two in Harvard Square. “I think it just makes a lot of sense to continue masking as a general rule, because there still are a lot of people out there who weren’t vaccinated and are potentially vulnerable,” Jackson said. 13News viewers have contacted our VERIFY team to ask if businesses are legally allowed to do that. The CDC now says fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without a mask, but some businesses may still require them. If they have a sign-up that alerts you to the requirement you need to wear a mask to be serviced, even without a mandate, it is their right to do so.