LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Laurel City Council passed an order Tuesday requiring the wearing of masks for essential and non-essential businesses.
“It’s up to the business owner whether they want to reject that person or not if they don’t have their mask on, but the City of Laurel stands behind their decision in that process,” council member Stacy Comegys said.
The Ward 5 councilman added the order to the agenda.
“I do know that people feel like we’re infringing on their rights, but sometimes we have to do things and make tough decisions for the greater good of everyone else and that’s why I put it on the agenda,” Comegys said.
He says the city will not be enforcing any penalties, but they are firmly asking businesses to follow the order.
“I’m just letting it be the customer’s choice,” Elegant Evenings owner Jalin Wood McNeil said. “Since the order, I think we’re going to see a lot less people shopping, you know, that are on the streets and wanting to walk in, I do think that we’re going to see much slower businesses.”
“You have to make your money the best way you can cause those bills do not stop coming,” Comegys said. “So a person that feels that way, that’s their personal opinion. I would hope that they would try to follow the order, but if not, I do understand.”
While it’s up to the businesses to deny service to those who refuse to wear a mask, some Laurel business owners said they would do their part to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in the city.
“That’s all a very touchy subject and as a business owner, there’s a fine line there,” The Rusty and The Laurel Leaf owner Tana Henderson said. “Of course, we never want to make any guest in our store feel uncomfortable, but we’re going to be having a sign out front that says, you know, to please wear a mask.”
The mask order in the City of Laurel starts June 17 and ends July 1.
“If we can save one or two people from dying, it will be definitely worth it,” Comegys said.