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Central Oregon

Bend, Redmond businesses say they will enforce mask mandate

'If I have to be the big bully, then I am. I don’t mind.'

(Update: Adding video, comments from Redmond police, businesses)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Now that Gov. Kate Brown has issued a statewide mandate requiring face coverings in all indoor public spaces, starting Wednesday, some Central Oregon businesses say they will do everything they can to enforce the requirement in their stores.

Letty Lees, the owner of Learning Express Toys in Bend, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday her business will distribute flyers with information about the CDC guidelines and how masks can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Her business already has Plexiglas partitions at the cash registers and a sign at the front of the store that says customers are required to wear masks. 

Lees said she hopes if people follow the mandate, it will help keep small businesses like hers open.

“In order for us to keep our business, employees and customers safe, we’re asking them to wear a mask,” Lees said. “We’ll do whatever we need to, and help in any way we can to keep people safe.”

Autumn Persinger, the owner of Ida’s Cupcake Cafe, with two locations in Bend and a newly opened location in Redmond, said her employees will ask customers to leave if they refuse to wear masks.

“We’re encouraging the staff to feel free to tell customers about the new guidelines and make sure they are aware of them,” Persinger said. “That might be difficult, with all the tourists we have in town right now, getting our message across without seeming mean or making people uncomfortable.”

Zachary Bass, director of the Redmond Municipal Airport, said people flying in and out of the airport also will be required to wear masks, with some exceptions.

“There are some exceptions for children under 2 or anyone with a medical condition,” he said. “We also -- if someone forgets a mask, there will be masks available through the airport or the airline or handed out by our employees.”

Kari Stuber, manager of the BrightSide Animal Center Thrift Store in Redmond, said since the store reopened May 15, she has required all employees and customers to wear masks before stepping inside the building.

But she said not everyone has been supportive of her decision.

“We get a lot of odd people in here sometimes, and sometimes people get very violent about it -- and it’s not fun,” Stuber said.

She said most of her volunteers are elderly or considered at high risk for contracting the virus, and she wants to make their safety a priority.

“I’ll continue to make everyone wear a mask, and if I have to be the big bully, then I am,” Stuber said. “I don’t mind.”

She said there have been a couple instances with angry customers where she felt she almost wanted to call the police. 

Gov. Brown did not specify how she plans to enforce the mandate. However, she said the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration will take the lead in making sure it is followed.

Lt. Jesse Petersen with the Redmond Police Department said the role of law enforcement in relation to the governor’s mask mandate is more focused on education rather than enforcement.

“If we do receive complaints from the community, we want them to go ahead and call OSHA or make a complaint online,” Petersen said. “They can also make a complaint through the Deschutes County Health Department.”

"When calls are received to Dispatch regarding people without face coverings, the dispatcher will refer the caller to report the incident to OSHA," Lt. Juli McConkey with the Bend Police Department said in a statement.

McConkey said Bend PD is taking an educational and compliance approach.

"Failure to obey the Governor’s order is a C Misdemeanor," she said. "However, we are hopeful with education our community will abide by the order."

More specific details about Oregon’s statewide mask requirement can be found on the Oregon Health Authority website.

Bend / Coronavirus / News / Redmond / Top Stories

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

40 Comments

    1. I hope you thanked Barney for the free advertising.
      The General Duffy’s outside market looked like a lot of fun, hopefully a lot of people showed up.

    2. Yeah right before independence day Kate thinks this is going to happen 😂 she’s a donkey! I can’t believe there is that many idiots in the state that would vote her in.

    3. Actually you can’t ask what the medical condition is. That goes against HIPPA which is a federal law. HIPAA protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. So if the person does not want to disclose the information then your hands are tied.

    1. You think that any other business in this country isn’t requiring employees to wear a mask? If you’re not going to support local business, which means you aren’t helping Oregon’s economy, or wear a mask, then you are twice the problem you were in just protesting the mask.
      What an embarrassment.

  1. How is it legal for police to be able to enforce something that is not even a law?!?!?

    I can see businesses enforcing it because it is private property and up to them.

    Also, my non-verbal mild/severe autistic child will absolutely not be able to keep a mask on without duct taping it to his face, so he won’t be wearing one, so if you don’t like it, too bad.

    1. From the article: “…the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration will take the lead in making sure [wearing a mask] is followed.”

      I don’t think anyone will have an issue with your child not wearing a mask. Just common courtesy of covering when coughing or sneezing, but that’s basic stuff we should do regardless of a pandemic.
      Be safe out there.

  2. I suddenly developed a deviated septum and asthma so I can’t wear a mask. Are businesses going to discriminate against my condition or ask for proof of it?

    Probably not. So I’ll continue to go about my business as usual.

  3. Well if that is the case, the general public has nothing to fear about it being enforced. OSHA only has control of what goes on in the workforce. They do not have control over the general public.

    1. OSHA had jurisdiction on conditions in the “work place” not work force. If an employee is exposed to health conditions identified as hazardous and the employer is not following state ‘guidance’ on safety, then OSHA can levy fines or take other measures. That is how this will be enforced, in the work place. An employee complains or a customer complains that prudent and state mandated employee and customer protections are not being followed. OSHA action will follow.

      1. Sounds about right. OSHA really is underwhelmed and will be out tomorrow responding to a complaint today. And!!, they think a whole lot of themselves, some of the biggest fines for not that much.

      2. Copy and past directly from OSHA website…

        As you may know, Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) to assure, “…safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women in America.” However, there are limitations to our authority. One of these limitations involves the applicability of the Act. Section 4 of the Act limits OSHA’s jurisdiction to, “employment performed in a workplace….” This means that OSHA can regulate employers and employees but has no authority over the merchant/customer relationship.

  4. If your retirement account provided a return of .001% you would be furious. Howver, if .001% of the local population gets sick, you gladly hand over your personal freedoms.

  5. Just put on a freaking mask. This is not about your “civil liberties” This is about freaking courtesy and saving lives. The idea That there’s even one of you dumb as$ Trumpanzies out in the world ready to give some poor slob trying to do their job at a “private” business crap just makes me want to puke. This country is just about had enough of Chump and… the 27% of the population that voted for him. Yeah that’s right I said 27% you butt heads think you got things locked down? Doubtful.

  6. Just put on a freaking mask. This is not about your “civil liberties” This is about freaking courtesy and saving lives. The idea That there’s even one of you dumb as$ Trumpanzies out in the world ready to give some poor slob trying to do their job at a “private” business crap just makes me want to puke. This country is just about had enough of Chump and… the 27% of the population that voted for him. Yeah that’s right I said 27% you butt heads think you got things locked down? Doubtful.
    Just remember turnabout is fair play.

  7. To those of you who think you can just do as you please and refuse to wear a mask in a store starting today, you’re in for a rude awakening. The store is private property and if you don’t wear a mask, they have the right to ask you to leave. If you refuse to do so, then at that point, you are trespassing on private property and they can call the police and have you forcibly removed.

    1. It’s sadly comical, but there will be some people causing scenes by not wearing masks. It’s kind of like in preschool when some children don’t feel like following the rules, then they throw a tantrum.

  8. The right wing KKKAG clan nut jobs never disappoint on this comment board. Funny to watch something so simple send them into rage. I really hope to be there holding the camera when one of Trump’s finest losses it over being denied service because they refuse to wear a mask.
    Trump supporters are melting like snowflakes! HA!

  9. I think they’re only asking people to be kind to one another and wear a mask. How hard is that? I thought this was such a great community and people help each other. Not anymore, people won’t even wear a mask to protect others. It stops you from spitting on other people when you talk. Anybody with an education should know that works.

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