Mayor scraps rule that shoppers must wear a virus masks in stores after employees were verbally abused and threatened – The Sun

THE Mayor of an Oklahoma city has scrapped a rule requiring shoppers to wear virus masks in stores after employees were verbally abused and threatened during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials in Stillwater, Oklahoma, decided it would be best to rid of the mandatory face cover rule and amended an emergency proclamation on Friday.

The rule was originally put into place to prevent the spread of coronavirus and called for customers to wear face masks inside businesses.

However, after some store employees were "threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse" – including "one threat of violence using a firearm" – officials called for a change in orders, according to a news release.

The abuse first happened just three hours after the rule was imposed, despite medical evidence that face coverings prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce announced the change Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the declaration took effect.

He tweeted on Friday, admitting that he knew some people wouldn't agree: "I did not expect physical confrontations with employees and threatening phone calls to city hall.

"I hate that our businesses and their employees had to deal with abuse today, and I apologize for putting them in that position."

City Manager Norman McNickle confirmed the mayor's decision in a press release published Friday.

He stated: “Many of those with objections cite the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional, and under their theory, one cannot be forced to wear a mask.

"No law or court supports this view. In fact, a recent Federal lawsuit against Guthrie’s face covering order was fully dismissed by the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma."

The emergency order was revised less than 24 hours after being initiated.

"The City of Stillwater has attempted to keep people safe by the simple requirement to wear a face covering to protect others," he added.

"It is unfortunate and distressing that those who refuse and threaten violence are so self-absorbed as to not follow what is a simple show of respect and kindness to others.

“In that effort to insure the safety of others, we now have to weigh the safety of store owners and employees to threats of violence.

"We cannot, in clear conscience, put our local business community in harm’s way, nor can the police be everywhere."

The new orders ask local stores and businesses to simply encourage visitors to cover their faces.


However, if a specific businesses wants to take a more rigid approach, McNickle asks "everyone to respect and abide by such decisions."

The news comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States reached 1,160,774.

At least 67,444 people have died from the killer virus across the country.

Source: Read Full Article