Michigan's mask rules are now in effect

 Door signs at Carl's Supermarket.
Door signs at Carl's Supermarket. (WILX)
Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 6:49 PM EDT
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As of Monday, it's no longer a recommendation that you wear a mask when you go shopping, it's a requirement.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order extension issued last week is in effect, mandating masks in every enclosed public space as long as people can medically tolerate to wear one.

At Carl's Supermarket in Dimondale, the shelves were stocked, surfaces constantly disinfected and everyone inside wore a mask.

Co-owner Mark Joseph says he started encouraging employees to wear masks when the pandemic started, and is now happy that it's no longer an option.

A sign on the front door informs customers of the changes, but for those who don't have a mask, Joseph says they are handing them out for free. Customers can also use their curbside service.

"We have some awesome customers that have donated masks, a lot of masks. Without them I don't know how we would even do it," said Joseph.

Enforcement is left up to individual business owners who have the option to deny service if they choose.

"I'm hoping I don't have to. That's the last thing I would do," said Joseph. "If I have someone in here not wanting to put one on and refusing to leave, what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to call the police? I don't know where that line is and hopefully we don't have anybody pushing that far."

From Menards, to Meijer, to Dollar General, News 10 observed several business in Mid-Michigan complying.

"I was actually at Menards yesterday and they have actually a spot for if you don't have a mask, you have to pay a dollar for a mask," said customer Chris Anderson.

"I feel really safe because there are so many people that are not wearing masks and I think it is a necessity," said Dollar General customer Theresa Panetta.

There is no penalty. However, not wearing a mask in a food-selling establishment or pharmacy, according to another executive order issued on Sunday, could result in a misdemeanor offense.

That includes food-selling establishment and pharmacy employers who don't provide masks. The penalty would be punishable by a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

Some customers like Charles Runion, think the measures are too extreme.

"Two weeks ago when the cases reached over 30,000 and you were allowing people to shop in stores you didn't force them to wear a mask then, what's the difference now. It's the abuse of power," said Runion.

"As far as enforcing it you can't prove that someone has a medical condition but at the same time we're the land of the free. We have people dying oversees for these same rights that are being restricted from us by an overreaching Governor," he added.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking police to take it easy on businesses making a good-faith effort to provide masks to their workers.

"I know many business owners around the state are working hard to reopen and comply with the Governor's Executive Order. Securing appropriate face coverings by the Monday deadline, though, appears to be a difficult task for some businesses given limited supplies. Therefore, I am asking our law enforcement partners around the state to consider the good faith efforts of businesses that have tried, but have been unsuccessful, in obtaining appropriate face coverings when deciding whether to take criminal enforcement action against a non-compliant business. While businesses work diligently to find appropriate face coverings to meet the requirements of the Executive Order, I urge employees that can safely do so to use their own face coverings as protection until businesses provide face coverings as required by the Governor's order. The Governor's order requires that each of us – businesses and employees – work together to safely and successfully reopen our economy. We appreciate the cooperation of law enforcement, employers and employees as we strive to carefully and thoughtfully reopen our state, one step at a time," Nessel said in a statement.

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