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Video: Some Minnesota businesses, customers hesitant to ditch masks

May 15, 2021 05:46AM ● By Editor

Watch the KSTP-TV Report here

Photo: KSTP-TV

By Brandi Powell of KSTP-TV - May 14, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz's lift on the mask mandate is still so new that many restaurants still have their signs up telling customers masks are required to enter. But in many suburbs, such as Richfield, restaurant owners said they are still trying to figure out their next steps.

"I feel like definitely, no matter what we do, we are going to have people mad at us," said Courtney Norgaard, owner of Local Roots in Richfield.

The business of business is changing. 

"I've instructed our employees, basically at this point if someone comes in without a mask, there's no mask mandate anymore, and so that is allowed," Norgaard said.

Norgaard said she plans to take the weekend to see how her employees and customers feel about the governor's repeal of the mask mandate.

"I could see it actually hurting business ... Fears of going out to places where masks are not required," she said.

Other big companies tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they're planning to review the new recommendations.

Target said it will continue to keep all of its COVID-19 safety measures in place at all stores, including requiring masks and social distancing. 

Mall of America is "strongly encouraging" patrons to wear masks and said all mall employees will be wearing masks for the time being. Masks will continue to be mandatory at Nickelodeon Universe, and other businesses throughout the mall can require masks.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is keeping the City's mask mandate in place for the time being.

Jasper Rajendren, owner of Sparrow Cafe in southwest Minneapolis said that gives him time to figure out what he'll do next.

"I'm still a little hesitant with the pace of it," Rajendren said. "I don't want to become, I don't want to be on the news for being a hotspot for COVID."

He added, "We don't really know where people stand with their vaccinations or with their history, and we don't, I don't really want to be policing people's mask usage." 

Some Minneapolis residents and customers said it's a process. 

"We are headed in the right direction, but there's enough people not vaccinating that it's best to keep the public safe," Minneapolis resident Amy Simso Dean said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is also keeping his city's mask mandate in place for now. 

To watch the original report and see related stories, follow this link to the KSTP-Tv website.

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