IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - As coronavirus cases continue to rise, more local businesses are requiring customers to wear masks.
Many large corporations, such as Walmart, Kroger (Fred Meyer and Smith's), Sam’s Club, Starbucks and Best Buy will be requiring masks in order for customers to enter the store. Some local businesses are already on board.
Marty McLellan is a part-time employee at Jimmy’s All Season Anglers downtown. He says Jimmy’s started requiring masks as soon as the governor allowed Jimmy’s to reopen after the shutdown.
“We have a lot of people come in from all over the world, all over the United States, and we just don’t want to put anybody at risk," McLellan said.
Jimmy’s has had an above average spring compared to past seasons. McClellan says the numbers dropped in March but picked back up in April and have continued to grow.
“Fishing’s a great way to social distance,” McLellan said.
McLellan says customers have been very understanding and compliant with the mask requirement. He says he can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of people who have walked out of the shop.
“We’re all in this together and we’re just trying to do everything we can to get through it,” McLellan said.
Lyn’s Ladies and Babies Shop ower Lyn Pletscher said they also started requiring customers to wear masks on their first day of reopening. She says over time, Lyn’s has seen an improvement in the number of people who are willing to wear masks.
Pletscher says it is important for her customers to wear masks to protect each other while in her shop.
“We don’t know who is asymptomatic," Pletscher said, "We have to make sure that everyone is protected.”
Eastern Idaho Public Health director Geri Rackow says masks may be an inconvenience, but they are necessary for protecting the health of others. Rackow says masks may not protect the wearer from contracting the virus, but it will prevent the individual from spreading it to others.
“People can be infectious and potentially spread the virus before they start showing symptoms," Rackow said, "And that’s the reason for the masks.”
Lyn's sells masks at shop cost or can provide customers with a disposable mask. Pletscher says she has children's masks coming in, in case school-aged children need them when returning to school.