HOPKINS, Minn. — For Dan Lucas, masks are nothing new.
As the owner and manager of Sharpening Center in Hopkins, he said he’s been wearing them as a matter of protocol for thirty years, long before the emergence of COVID-19.
“We do a lot of polishing and buffing and sharpening here, so it does keep the particulate out of us,” Lucas said. “The customers are used to seeing it.”
Now, under the statewide mask mandate that takes effect just after midnight on Saturday, customers will be required to wear the masks – or else face a petty misdemeanor citation and possibly a fine as large as $100.
Lucas posted “Wear a Mask” signs on several locations at his small store, including the front door, the entry and on the counter. To make things easy for customers, Sharpening Center will have extra masks on hand and allows for curbside, self-service pickup.
“Non-confrontational,” Lucas said. “We’re gonna keep it easy, polite, respectable.”
A few things to keep in mind as the mandate takes place:
- It may remain in place for the duration of the peacetime emergency
- Kids younger than two are exempt; so are people with certain medical conditions
- If a local law is stricter, you have to follow that rule
- You have to wear a mask at indoor public spaces, or when you’re waiting in line to get inside one, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a mask when you’re simply out for a walk
Suyoung Cha was out walking in public near downtown Hopkins on Friday afternoon, just hours before the mandate set in.
“Whenever I’m indoors, I wear one. Because it’s easy. I ask the question: Why not? I can’t find the answer to that,” Cha said. “It’s just so easy. And it could help a lot of people. So, if you don’t, it’s just selfish.”
But over at Sharpening Center, most customers have already been wearing masks before the governor's announcement of a mandate.
“We feel that it’s a good thing. I like to see it. Compliance is a good thing,” Lucas said. “We’re here to play it right and do our part.”
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