A possible return to staying at home
July 2, 2020 | View PDF
With the governor of California reinstating the Stay at Home order for one county in the state, 12 more counties have been put on a watch list, creating the possibility that the order may be reinstated. To try to negate the need for it, an order has been made that makes it necessary for residents to wear a face covering whenever entering most public buildings in the state. In Shafter, more than 75 percent of businesses now require customers to wear a face mask to enter.
Even businesses that didn’t have such an order in place while the Stay at Home order was in effect are now requiring a face covering. Dollar General and Family Dollar, both considered essential businesses that were allowed to stay open through the entire Stay at Home order, are now making sure that customers wear face masks.
On a recent visit, a woman pushing a stroller with a child in it was not able to enter the Dollar General because she didn’t have a face mask. A fellow resident saw this and gave the woman a mask to wear, allowing her to do her shopping. After Governor Newsom opened the state back up, allowing more businesses to reopen, California was quickly hit with an increase of Covid-19 cases. Kern County was one of the counties with the highest increases in cases, making leaders consider the possibility that the reopening may have been premature.
The new requirement, cumbersome to some residents, still has not hurt local businesses. Angel Saavera of the Family Dollar said, “We require all customers to wear a mask now, but it has not hurt our business. People have been real understanding about it.”
Dania Gomez of the Dollar General said, “We have had a few people getting really angry about having to wear the masks, but we have to abide by the order. Business has been good even through the order, with most of the customers having patience with the requirement.”
Another development is the closure of the state’s bars, which includes Shafter’s Foxy Lady. Newsom determined that bars create an environment conducive to spreading the virus. This could be followed by the re-closure of other non-essential businesses.
For mask-free shopping, you can still go to Apple Market in Shafter, which is not requiring customers to wear masks. They are practicing social distancing and the employees are wearing masks in the store.