KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It’s no longer a recommendation that you wear a mask when you're out in public, it’s a requirement in Michigan.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said people who choose not to wear a face mask in public places will not face any criminal penalty or fines. However, businesses do have the right to turn customers away if they are not wearing a face covering.
“To be clear, when you go to the grocery store or to the pharmacy or to any store that’s open during this time, you need to wear a face mask," Whitmer said.
Whitmer's latest executive order states employers must provide non-medical grade masks to in-person workers. Customers need to buy their own to wear out in public places.
Whitmer said it’s up to stores to enforce the measure, that aims to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.
A spokesperson for Menards said if a customer comes into the store without a mask, they will be asked to buy one for $1 or they will be asked to leave.
Meijer put signs on their doors that say customers are required to wear face masks.
A Target communications representative said they have team members outside the doors reminding guests to wear a mask while shopping.
A Walmart spokesperson said they are strongly encouraging customers to follow state guidelines and wear a mask, but there will be no enforcement.
West Michigan shopper Jake Hambright said he’ll wear a mask at the store but said he thinks things are going too far.
“We do want to be limited in spreading the virus, but at this point now it’s an infringement on our rights," Hambright said.
Other shoppers like Steve Howland agree with the face mask requirements.
“I think it’s a good idea for both of our safety," Howland said. "Why not do everything you possibly can.”
The CDC recommends people wear a face covering in public, where social distancing can be difficult like at a grocery store.
Health experts estimate up to 25% of people with COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say wearing a mask can help prevent people from unknowingly spreading the virus to others.