Tops, Dairy Queen, and others to provide employees with free face masks

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Cuomo is issuing an executive order that would require employers to provide essential workers with face masks free of charge. 

The order will apply to all essential businesses where employees directly interact with the public.  The move mimics a similar executive order issued by Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey. 

WROC spoke to nearly a dozen restaurants, grocery stores, and fast food chains to see how they’re planning on complying with the order. Most of the supervisors said they were already working to get masks to their employees. 

The Dairy Queen franchise in Rochester hopes to receive a mask shipment Tuesday. The local Franchise CEO said they’ve ordered four shipments of both reusable cloth and disposable face masks.

“Right now it’s a crazy time, and the associates are coming in. They’re working over here inside these restaurants. It’s not easy for them,” said Mark Goldberg, the CEO of the Dairy Queen’s Rochester franchise, “they’re showing up to work each and every day. So the smallest of littlest of things, if that makes them feel a little bit more comfortable, then do it.”

Tops Friendly Markets said beginning this week they will also be rolling out additional safety measures at their stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Those new provisions will include providing all of their associates with cloth face masks. 

Chains like Wegmans and Walmart say they’re already providing masks to employees free of charge. 

Both stores told us they plan on reviewing the governor’s executive order and are prepared to revise their policies to comply. A spokesperson for Wegmans said they’ll make decisions about whether or not they’ll require employees to wear masks based on the governor’s mandates.

County Executive Adam Bello said masks need to be available for all essential workers. Bello said he applauds the Governor Cuomo’s order. 

“I would strongly encourage everyone in this community to wear a mask when they’re out in public. That includes when engaging in an essential business. And that includes our essential businesses being responsible and masking their employees,” said Bello. 

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