Summit County enacted its Covid-19 mask requirement Saturday morning at midnight. On Friday afternoon, The Summit County Council met in an emergency session to discuss the measure and vote it into place. During the public comment, I asked how local businesses should handle those people not wearing masks. The answer wasn’t what I expected.
I expected the County Council to say that ultimately people are responsible for their own actions, that they hoped all people would comply, and they are trying to communicate a “message” to the public to reduce the spiking Coronavirus numbers. That’s not the message I received.
Instead, Summit County Council Chair Doug Clyde said, “You [the business] are obviously going to be required to inform that person that their entrance to your business without a mask is not possible. That will be a requirement. You can’t be a business owner and decide that you are going to ignore this rule. This rule is real.”
What? So Fresh Market should have someone stationed at the door blocking people from entry if they aren’t wearing a mask? Same with Walmart, Smiths, etc.? You want them to enforce your order? It sounds like the County Council does.
That’s an unreasonable suggestion and not what the order appears to say. It says people are liable for not wearing a mask. My personal opinion is that masks should be mandatory statewide. Since the Governor’s decisions control the Park City School District, and I need school to happen this fall, I will do anything to make sure in-person school goes on. Since I live in Park City, and many friends would be financially crushed by no winter, I will do anything to make sure winter isn’t canceled. Masks make sense to me.
And please don’t say masks tread on your freedom. I learned in Civics in 9th grade that “the right to swing your fist stops at the next man’s nose.” There are speed limits. There are DUI laws. You have to wear shoes in a restaurant. I get your personal freedom thoughts (because I am often in your camp), but save them for a better argument.
However, if the County Council says that they expect businesses to enforce their law when it doesn’t seem it’s not actually part of the law, that goes too far. It’s the ammunition that gives people who hate masks ammunition. They say, “The County Council doesn’t even know what it is suggesting.”
So, Summit County businesses, I guess you may be responsible for stopping people from entering without a mask according to our legislative branch — but maybe not the actual ordinance. Are you going to turn people away? What are you going to do?
I get that the Coronavirus response is fluid, but it needs to be better than this.