As most of you are aware, as of July 7th, all retail businesses in the State of Washington are required to abide by the new Governor’s mandate on masks and other PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
For your Co-op this means 2 things:
- All staff are required to wear masks during the time they work in the store and are to encourage social distancing by staff and shoppers
- We are required to ask all customers to wear a mask while shopping. The mandate goes so far as to require our staff to refuse to service a customer not wearing a mask.
If you come into the store without a mask, a staff member will approach you and ask you to please put on a mask. If you don’t have one with you, one will be made available.
Declining to Wear a Mask
If you still decline to wear a mask or face covering, a YFC representative or employee may politely inquire as to whether you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from wearing a mask. If you answer in the affirmative, then you are exempt from the requirement.
Under the Governor’s mandate, if a business is not adequately enforcing the face mask order or other Safe Start requirements, violations can be enforced by Labor &Industries as a safety and health violation by the employer. That could carry a penalty of nearly $10,000 or more for your Co-op. Our members would certainly not approve of such a penalty. In addition, our Board of Directors could be held personally liable if they allow us to violate a state mandate.
Medical Exemption to Wearing a Mask
PLEASE NOTE: Some staff and Working Members and shoppers may be medically exempt from wearing a face mask. So please, if you do not feel safe in an environment due to others not wearing a mask for medical purposes, and you choose to enter, you do so at your own risk.
We appeal to all our shoppers and members to understand that this is not a Co-op policy, but one we must abide by. We hope that you can accept that. If you are not comfortable wearing a mask for any length of time, then please come in, shop and leave quickly. That way you support your Co-op, get the products you want and don’t endanger your personal health.
Thanks you for your understanding and cooperation. We all want our co-op to survive this present situation and be there for our members and other shoppers long into the future!
The Board and Staff of
the Yelm Food Cooperative