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Local businesses face challenges enforcing mask mandate, CDC steps in


The CDC issued new guidelines this week on limiting workplace violence related to COVID-19 policies. The CDC is discouraging workers in retail, restaurants and other businesses from arguing with customers who refuse to wear masks. 

News Channel 3’s Dani Romero has more on the challenges local businesses are facing when enforcing facial coverings.  

Gina Gonzales, a manager at El Patron in Palm Springs, checks-in  every customer at the door but lately she’s been put to the test.

“They are coming from all over and simply think that here in the desert that they don’t have to wear a mask that is extremely challenging," said Gonzales.  

Gonzales said they even question her. 

“But how do you expect us to eat with a mask on?," said Gonzales.

Gonzales said its a daily battle along with some customers are also aggressive towards her. 

“Very verbally aggressive and threatening," said Gonzales. "I have even had where they take off their mask and purposely cough and cough in my face or throw their mask down and stomp on it.” 

Those are scenes Gonzales and her staff hope to avoid. 

“Do their best in handling it to the best of their abilities and if not to just pick up the phone and call the police," said Gonzales.

Despite the troubling circumstances with customers, Gonzales hasn’t called law enforcement.  

“Honestly its very heartbreaking," said Gonzales. "It's extremely frustrating and yes, we are in this industry and yes, we understand but we are all in this together."

The CDC releasing new guidelines to help frontline workers avoid interacting with those who violently protest not wearing a mask. 

Some of the guidelines include offer customers options to minimize their contact with others, assign two workers to work as a team, create a safe area for employees.

“I am so happy that they are stepping up to plate and willing to help and guide us and understanding all the difficulties and the tragic things that can happen not only emotionally but physically," said Gonzales.

The CDC guidance encourages companies to provide training for employees on how to handle these situations.

For more information on CDC guidelines : CLICK HERE.

Coronavirus / News Team / Top Stories

Dani Romero


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