Wegmans fined $1,000 by Cayuga County for admittedly not enforcing 100% mask-wearing compliance


AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Cayuga County Board of Health has fined Wegmans $1,000 for violating the state’s mandate that employees and customers in stores wear a face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The fine was for a second violation at the Auburn Wegmans. Wegmans paid $50 charged for the first violation, but did not admit to it.

According to the Cayuga County Health Department, Wegmans was fined specifically for “failure to wear appropriate face coverings while being within less than six feet of others.”

At the Board of Health’s meeting Tuesday, the attorney representing Wegmans, Dan Purcell, said: “To ask Wegmans to ensure that every minute of every hour of every day, that every person in the store has a mask on, at every single moment, is quite a high threshold.”

NewsChannel 9 has received frequent complaints from viewers about Wegman’s failure to enforce the mask requirement when customers refuse to wear a mask while shopping in their stores.

“If I were to walk into Wegmans without a shirt, a manager would come up to me and say: ‘ma’am, you have to put on a shirt or you have to leave.’ If I raise stink, they would call the police and I would be escorted out,” Board of Health member, Dr. Cassandra Archer, said.

Wegmans says most of its customers follow the rules, but the Rochester-based food store doesn’t want to put employees at risk of altercations. 

Part of a statement on the company’s policy posted to its website reads: “Through ongoing monitoring, we continue to see 99% compliance with the mask mandates from our customers. While we would love for that to be 100%, we have to balance that 1% with the risks of asking our employees to confront unmasked customers. Thank you to all who voluntarily comply.”

“What it appears some would have us do is to confront and physically try to force the person to leave the store and that is a line a Wegmans has decided it can’t cross,” said the company attorney.

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