Staffers At West Boca Raton Store Do Nothing.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Even with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ bizarre declaration that COVID is essentially a non-issue in Florida, stores still have mask mandates in place. Violators can be charged with trespassing. Unless, apparently, that store is Publix which is saying one thing and doing something else.
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The woman seen above shocked shoppers as she walked into the Publix at 441 and Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton Thursday morning, refusing to wear a mask. She brushed right by the signs mandating mask use, as shoppers asked her to put one on. She repeatedly refused. She then, in a sentence full of pauses, stated “uh, well, uh, I have, uh, asthma, so I guess I can’t wear a mask. Yeah. I have asthma. That’s what I have.”
She then proceeded through the store where every other shopper — and employee — wore a mask per ongoing CDC guidelines.
Publix employees watched but did nothing. The chain has come under fire for initially being the only distribution point for COVID-19 vaccines in the state, following a significant donation to Florida Governor DeSantis by an heir to the family that founded the company. The woman, ironically, walked right past masked individuals waiting for their COVID shots.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this week declared that local governments can no longer enforce emergency orders relating to COVID-19 — including mask mandates. That led Palm Beach County to rename its order a “policy” and state that anyone not wearing a mask in government buildings, or on mass transit, can be arrested for trespass. Stores, like Publix, continue to have the option of calling police if shoppers refuse to wear masks in a violation of corporate policy. That falls under trespass laws.
It was not immediately clear why this shopper was permitted to shop without a mask, or whether the refusal of employees to get involved is representative of a larger policy now being implemented by Publix at the corporate level.
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