GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mask mandates are being reinstated all over the country as the COVID-19 delta variant sweeps across the United States. But one Greensboro bookstore is taking it a step further.
“We want to check to make sure that people who are actually taking their masks off in the store to eat or drink are vaccinated,” co-owner Steve Mitchell said.
What You Need To Know
Scuppernong Books implemented a vaccine requirement for indoor food and drink
It appears the bookstore is the first business in Greensboro to do so
Customer feedback has been mostly positive thus far
The new rule starts on Aug. 7.
Mitchell has been living in the Triad his whole life, but he helped open Scuppernong a little more than seven years ago. He doesn’t necessarily like the rule that the store is enforcing but feels it’s necessary.
“Nobody really wanted to be in this place but here we are, so we kind of have to figure out how to make it work,” Mitchell said.
Enforcing the rule could be challenging, and the bookstore is trying a few different methods.
“People need to have their cards, people need to have a picture of their cards," Mitchell said. “There are some apps that you can load your card into that we’ll be accepting as well.”
There has been negative feedback about mask mandates around the country, but Mitchell isn’t anticipating that at Scuppernong.
“It’s not something that we’ve had to deal with in the past, and it’s not something we foresee being a problem,” he said. “But you do have to kind of take it into consideration and be aware that something like that could happen.”
Though something could happen, customer response to the new rule has actually been positive.
“The precautions that they’ve been taking actually make me feel like this is one of the only places I can bring [my daughter] because she’s too young to get vaccinated. She’s only one,” High Point Professor Dr. Anne Leak said. “So, we don’t go out a whole [lot], but when we come here, we feel safe.”
The CDC still has yet to authorize the vaccine for young children. For now, parents have to rely on the rules of each individual business to keep their children safe.
“Throughout the whole pandemic, I think they’ve been really in touch with CDC recommendations,” Leak said.
The rule isn’t ideal for the store, but it feels it has no choice.
“COVID infections are going up,” Mitchell said. “The delta variant is extremely contagious, and we know that that’s happening all around the state.”
The rule will stay up until infection numbers start going back down.