Roanoke area residents weigh-in on whether masks are necessary in public

10 News talked to shoppers Monday

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Many people are not following the guidelines from health officials that advise that everyone should be covering their face in public.

10 News talked to shoppers at Lowe’s on Franklin Road in Roanoke County to see how they feel about being out under these conditions and if they were wearing gloves or masks.

Whether shopping for non-essential or essential items, many said they don’t need to wear a mask or gloves.

“I ain’t scared. What’s going to be is going to be,”said Roanoke resident Anntwine Lee.

Many say that the conditions are only dangerous for people who are more at risk of severe symptoms.

“If you’re high risk or low health or you’ve had something going on then you should absolutely listen to that, but if you’re in good health, we’re starting to touch on paranoia a little bit,” Roanoke County resident Aubrie Van Orman said.

Officials say masks are to protect everyone because anyone could accidentally spread the virus to someone who is more at risk for developing severe symptoms. President Trump announced last week that he’s advising all Americans to cover their face while in public.

Others were more prepared Monday.

“I’ve got some with me. I wash my hands. I got sanitizer right here. I’m ready to go," Roanoke County resident Tom Crowe said.

Everyone 10 News talked with said they felt like they could keep social distancing inside the store.

“There are people that forget and don’t cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze and going around touching things. It does make it unsanitary, so I think it’s a good idea," Roanoke city resident Susan Case-Childress said.

A Lowe’s spokesperson said in a statement to 10 News that the store has signs and marks on the floor to encourage shoppers to use social distancing, and customers have the option of checking out on their phones.

The chain is closing earlier to help employees with increased cleaning protocols.

The spokesperson also said the following about additions to its policies, which began April 2:

"We will be closing all stores at 7 p.m. daily to ensure additional time to replenish essential products and thoroughly clean and sanitize our stores daily.

We are making masks and gloves available to all associates in the workplace who want them. As previously shared, all N95 medical masks were placed on a stop sale and are being donated to hospitals to protect frontline healthcare workers, along with other personal protective equipment for first responders in our communities.

We developed an app to implement a new customer limit protocol, available now on associates’ handheld devices. Each store manager can now monitor foot traffic and limit entrance based on CDC and local guidelines.

We are enhancing our social distancing protocols by adding dedicated social distancing ambassadors who will be responsible for monitoring customer flow in our garden centers and front-end areas and enforce customer limits to allow proper social distancing."