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Local stores hesitate to make changes on mask policy

Savannah Blake/Mail Tribune - Kelsey Sander, left, laughs as Papillion Rouge Owner Amy Dicostanzo cheers that the newest shipment of clothes just arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Dicostanzo says she is still requiring masks in her store despite the changes made by OHA.
Savannah Blake/Mail Tribune - Kelsey Sander, left, laughs as Papillion Rouge Owner Amy Dicostanzo cheers that the newest shipment of clothes just arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Dicostanzo says she is still requiring masks in her store despite the changes made by OHA.

While big box stores like Target and Walmart are making changes to their mask policy after the Oregon Health Authority announced on Tuesday that fully vaccinated people would no longer be required to wear a mask in most public settings, several local businesses are holding off on making any sudden changes.

Martine Baker, an employee of Bumble & Wren in downtown Medford, says the store is choosing to be conservative when it comes to masks.

“[Asking for proof of vaccination] feels a little like policing and that’s not our job. Our job is to help people feel comfortable,” said Baker.

She said the store will not make any changes its policy until masks are no longer mandated anywhere.

Customers like June Chance agree with the store keeping its policy, adding that the honor system of saying you’ve been vaccinated is too risky.

“You have no way of knowing if someone has been vaccinated or not. I think until we get more people vaccinated it’s not a good thing,” she said.

Even though Chance is fully vaccinated, she said she will continue to put on her mask in public places.

While the mandate is stirring up hesitation from some, others say it’s a welcomed change.

Christena Anderson said she is happy to have breath of fresh air. She now shops at stores like Food 4 Less without a mask since she has been fully vaccinated. She thinks this is a time for people to take more personal responsibility.

“If you see a mask, you assume someone isn’t vaccinated or if you see someone maskless you should assume that they are,” said Anderson.