(Update: Adding video, comment from business owner, Oregon OSHA)
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Traci Haley is the co-owner of the Yo Central frozen yogurt shop in Prineville, and she acknowledges: “Covid fatigue is real.”
But two years into the pandemic, she is still enforcing an indoor mask policy in her store.
“I get really tired of telling people, ‘Hey you need to wear a mask, to pull it over your nose.’ It’s tiring, but it’s important,” Haley said Thursday.
Haley is a cancer survivor, and immune compromised.
She said other stores seem to let mask-wearing go, but with her situation, she can't afford to.
“I especially don’t want to see what Covid would do to someone like me, so I ask my customers to wear a mask,” Haley said.
On Wednesday, all three Central Oregon counties had the highest rate of covid cases per 100K people in the state.
Crook at 2,099, Deschutes at 2,117, and Jefferson at 2,070.
Oregon OSHA said it is still actively enforcing mask-wearing policies, giving at least 219 citations and issuing several hundred thousands of dollars in fines since the pandemic began.
OSHA said it follows Oregon Health Authority guidelines, ensuring businesses, “make reasonable efforts to ensure customers, guests, visitors and other individuals comply with this rule within the indoor space.”
But not everyone seems to care.
NewsChannel 21 asked Doug Deurden, who lives in Prineville, if he wears a mask in a store with a sign telling him to do so.
“No, I don’t,” Deurden said. “I don’t think they need to be worn anywhere.”
One man told NewsChannel 21 if he knows the store enforces the policy, he’ll keep the mask on. But if he knows that they don’t really care, he’ll take it off.
Haley said, “That’s their right -- they don’t have to wear a mask, But they just can’t not wear a mask here.”
Haley said she’s lost business, been called names to her face and harassed over the phone.
But it’s not going to change her mind.
“I can’t compromise on what I believe is right just for the sake of building my business,” Haley said.