May 20th, 2021
Last night, Governor Reynolds signed a bill that prevents cities and counties from having mask mandates that affect private property. This means that the City of Ames mask mandate no longer applies to Wheatsfield. Effective immediately, we will be following CDC recommendations to allow fully vaccinated individuals to be in the co-op without masks. Masks are highly recommended to shop in the co-op, however, and we will continue to have them at the door for those who need one.
This news may come as a surprise to some of you, and we want to validate that a sudden change in behavior after more than a year of doing things differently can be unsettling. We know many of you have shopped in Wheatsfield throughout the pandemic because you felt safe due to our policies. We will do everything we can to make sure that shopping in Wheatsfield remains a safe experience. We will continue to encourage social distancing and will maintain strict cleaning regimens. Hand sanitizer and masks are available for shoppers.
But, the reality is that we can no longer ask our employees to enforce a mask requirement. We have been asking shoppers to wear masks and wear them appropriately for many months and the confrontations are escalating now that the CDC has updated their guidance. We have said all along that we would follow CDC guidelines and local mandates and give our staff time to be vaccinated. Vaccines are widely available and most of our staff is fully vaccinated now so we feel safer making this change. We acknowledge that not everyone is eligible or has been able to be vaccinated, especially children, so we will welcome and encourage face coverings well into the future. Curbside pickup will continue to be available with some modifications coming soon.
We want to extend gratitude to our staff who have worked on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wheatsfield Co-op Management