Shopping around the area may look a little different in the near future as more local businesses are encouraged to require masks.
“I believe what the healthcare officials, what the healthcare industry is telling us that wearing a mask is going to help protect other people,” said President and CEO of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Dave Minor.
Wearing a mask in public is becoming more common, as it’s one way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 according to the Center for Disease Control.
The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce is now asking all its member businesses to have their employees and their customers wear a mask.
“We just felt at this point it was very important for the chamber to encourage our members and the public as they’re going out, as they’re supporting members, to wear a mask,” said Minor.
For Matt Pabich, Owner of Raggedy Man Goods and Gifts on Barstow Street, masks have been a requirement since reopening in June.
“It was a way that I know I could ensure people are being safe and I’m keeping myself safe,” said Pabich. “I am in a space under 500 square so I think of it as I’m letting you into my living room almost, so it is just a courtesy to other people shopping.”
Just down Barstow Street at Tangled Up in Hue, Co-owner Jamie Kyser says a mask is a requirement to enter her store.
“We feel like for our store we are responsible for the safety of our staff and our customers and we just wanted to make sure everybody is safe,” said Kyser.
“It may seem like an inconvenience and it may be hard to do,” Minor said. “But if we start doing it now, the more accustomed we get to it, the easier it is going to be.”
Minor says the mask recommendations are to protect the safety of customers and businesses and to ensure businesses do not have to shut down again.
“Many businesses if not all of them could not sustain another setback by being shut down,” said Minor.