PORTAGE, Mich. — Hair salons are back open across the state and the governor ordered people in business to wear a mask, but a Portage hair salon owner said on Facebook she wouldn't.
On Wednesday, Emily Fulton was seen not wearing in mask in front of several customers at her Portage salon Ride or Dye - an Emily Fulton Salon.
Fulton posted on her Facebook page on June 11, "I personally do not feel the need to wear a mask. this is my choice and is something that I feel strongly about." The post, later was removed or deleted.
Under COVID-19 personal-care industry guidelines, all employees for the personal care industry are required to wear a face mask or face shield at all times. The guidelines require employees to make proper use of personal protective equipment in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The guidelines require customers to wear a face covering at all times, except when customers need to temporarily remove a face covering when receiving a service that requires its removal. During services that require a customer to remove their face covering, an employee must wear a face shield or goggles in addition to the face covering
Under Michigan Executive Order 2020-114, effective June 5, 2020, all businesses require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.
Fulton declined to speak with Newschannel 3 to explain her reasons to not wear a mask.
"Aside from the legal consequences that she’s putting herself at risk. Also, what do her clients think? I suppose it's ultimately up to them to decide if they feel safe in that environment if someone is not wearing a mask," Tari Krupinski, vice president of the Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals, said.
Krupinski said she hasn't encountered any hairstylists in Michigan openly refusing to wear masks.
Portage Public Safety Director Nicholas Armold said officers plan to follow up and speak with Fulton.
Armold said during the past several months, businesses have been warned, but no one has been cited for violating the Governor's Executive Order.
He said once someone has been identified as potentially violating the executive order, after making contact, parties have complied.
"If they don't comply, the Attorney General's office or the prosecutor's office will determine they're in violation and would issue a citation,"Armold said.
Violating one of the governor’s executive orders could result in a $1,000 fine.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said businesses owners have to set the example.
"This is something we do to protect ourselves and loved ones," Whitmer said at a news conference Wednesday.
In Springfield, Missouri, two hairstylists who later tested positive for COVID-19 potentially exposed 140 clients. Health officials there credit the masks the stylists wore with preventing an outbreak.
A recent study conducted by The Lancet found the risk of transmitting COVID-19 drops from about 17% to 3% if masks are worn.