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Some patrons at Buck’s Hardware not complying with request to wear a mask in the store

After asking community members and people who visit Buck’s Hardware in Grand Marais to wear a mask while shopping in the store to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the situation has been hit or miss when it comes to compliance.

Stephen Skeels, the owner of Buck’s, told WTIP on May 11 that about 80 percent of the customers visiting the local hardware store have been fully accepting of the request to wear a mask while visiting the business in downtown Grand Marais. However, there are some who are apparently unwilling to comply with the request to wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose while in the store, according to Buck’s management.

Skeels said he made the request starting May 8 to help protect his employees and guests.

“Over the past month, Buck’s employees have been wearing face coverings, and now we are asking that our guests also do the same. We understand that not every guest will agree with this policy, (but) this is not a matter of personal choice,” Skeels said. “A face covering protects not just the wearer, but others, too. We strive to ensure that our store is a safe place to work and shop and appreciate your help.”

Buck’s Hardware is also requesting no more than six people enter the store at a time and that those who do maintain proper social distancing guidelines, staying at least six feet apart from one another while in the store and also wearing a face mask.

During the first few days of this new policy, which happened to coincide with the Fishing Opener, there appeared to be some who were not interested in complying with the new system of operations at Buck’s, with some patrons reading the signs posted near the front entrance and continuing on without wearing a mask, Skeels said.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Skeels about the request of Buck’s Hardware management for guests to wear a mask while they are in the local business.