BOISE, Idaho — The Record Exchange in downtown Boise is requiring masks for everyone, vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, inside their store. According to the announcement, all staff are required to wear masks inside the store as well.
“It wouldn’t say its something I wanted to do, but it's something we felt like we had to do,” Owner Michael Bunnell said. “Transmission rates and vaccination rates in this state are poor. Until we feel like we can fully protect not only our staff but our customers, we’re going to take any precaution necessary.”
Hand sanitizer and complimentary masks will be provided upon entry. Social distancing is still encouraged inside the store and The Record Exchange has a ventilation system that features "virus-killing technology" that will remain in place after the pandemic.
So far, customers have had a positive response to the new rule.
“I think that it's an appropriate response to the current data and they are doing the responsible thing," Customer Mariana Adams said. "I think it's great, they have the masks out here for you to take they have a very clear sign on the door. If you don’t wish to wear a mask, you don’t have to. You just can't shop there.”
"The vast majority of our customers understand our attitude on these things and they fully support us,” Bunnell said.“We’ve had many customers come in before saying they felt like this was the safest place they went during the day and we want to continue that. Our attitude continues to be what it was before and we are going to do everything we can to keep this a safe place."
The change comes as the CDC reversed its recommendation Tuesday and is now saying people who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors in parts of the country where the coronavirus is surging. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports there are around 30 cases of the Delta variant in Idaho.
According to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker, Ada County is at the "substantial" level of community transmission. Central District Health is recommending people wear a mask in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.