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Windsor grocer enforces mandatory mask, gloves policy
WINDSOR, ONT. -- As debate rages on about the effectiveness of wearing masks, some stores — including a Windsor grocer— are requiring customers to don the protective covering.
Giglio’s Market in west Windsor has made it mandatory for all customers and staff to use hand sanitizer, wear a mask and gloves since mid-March.
When they enter the grocery store and sandwich shop, patrons are greeted by a stop sign with specific instructions before they can enter the store.
“I think early on I saw the Prime Minister’s wife was infected. I said if she can get it, anyone can get it,” says Domenic Giglio, the store manager. “So I worked from the very beginning on the presumption that everyone who walked in was infected.”
Over the past few weeks, public health officials have started recommending people wear masks while in public and especially where physical distancing isn’t possible.
“It gives us peace of mind and most people love it,” says Giglio. “They think it’s great because they take comfort in the knowledge that the 50 customers before them were covered up so it minimizes anything they’re going to pick up.”
If customers don’t have a mask or gloves, Giglio will supply both for free. His masks are a homemade modification of a number four coffee filter fitted with elastic bands to go over the ears.
Smartairfilters.com rates these coffee filters among the best material, after medical-grade masks, for their ability to filter micron particles.
“I’ve made several thousand of these over the past couple of months,” Giglio says, adding most customers abide.
“I’m doing it because Don says to do it,” says a relatively new customer, Jude Quick. “I wear my mask if I go into a shop or anything but I do it to protect the healthcare people. Because I don’t think it’s enough to say thank you and then go outside and spread something around.”
“You do what you gotta do,” says Shawn Falconer, who was in line to get one of the market’s signature monster sandwiches. “They need to make a living and people need to respect that and it’s just common sense.”
Giglio’s Market is among the growing number of grocers — including Longo’s — that require you to slip on a mask before entering. Whole Foods requests the masks be worn, but hasn’t made it mandatory.
While most people appreciate the effort, Giglio says the odd customer will put up a fuss.
“I get about one a day that refuses and turns around and walks out, and not a problem,” he says.
Premier Doug Ford recently quipped that businesses have the right to make such demands on their customers.
“Any business has the right to refuse anyone, that’s their business,” says Premier Ford. “I highly, highly encourage that people put on a face shield.”
Giglio wishes the province put that messaging out earlier but is happy officials are coming around with that messaging to the public.
“If they had come out early on and told people going into supermarkets to cover up, cover their face and cover their hands I think it would have gone a long way over the past seven to eight weeks.”