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In counties where Delta variant is on the rise, businesses adhere to standard protocols without mask enforcement

When it comes to requiring customers to wear a mask, those we talked to say that won't be required unless there's a state or federal mandate.

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. — 35 counties across the state of Minnesota have now been deemed substantial or high risk areas for transmitting the Delta variant of COVID-19, and it's in these areas where the CDC is recommending everyone mask up when indoors even if you're vaccinated.

"I will be wearing my mask when I'm out in public, yes," said Troy Rorman, who lives in Columbia Heights 

According to the CDC, high transmission means any area seeing more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in a week.

As of Friday, there are three counties in Minnesota seeing that surge: Lake, Morrison and Dodge. 

Substantial transmission means any area with 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 people in a week, which is where Anoka County is currently.

"They don't really wear masks a lot around here," said Becky Bystrom who lives in Anoka County. 

"My brother has it right now, it's very rough for him. I talked to him. His birthday was July 25 he could hardly talk, coughing and stuff, wheezing, can't breathe," said Rorman. 

Which is why some businesses are once again requiring their employees to mask up as they continue important safety protocols to help slow the spread.

"We have plexiglass up, we wipe our counters, we hand sanitize," said Jodell Cichantek, a cashier at the Big Stop Mart in Columbia Heights. 

Knowing a little extra work could save a life.

"I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for getting someone sick," said Bystrom. 

However, when it comes to requiring customers to wear a mask, those we talked to say that won't be required unless there's a state or federal mandate. At the moment it's just a recommendation.

"They need to get vaccinated you know and continue to mask up and take care of themselves," said Rorman. 

"They can be safe, we can be safe," said Bystrom.