Shoppers react to new mask policy at Gerrity’s

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local grocery store chain’s amended mask policy leaves shoppers feeling divided.

The new policy went into effect Friday. Gerrity’s Supermarket on Keyser Avenue was packed with people Friday night as most shoppers wore masks, but not all did.

The unfamiliar sight is thanks to the store’s new mask policy, which makes it optional for fully vaccinated customers and employees to wear facial coverings.

“When the CDC and the Department of Health came out with this, we looked at it as a way that it was a way for us to get back to normal in a safe way,” Gerrity’s Supermarkets co-owner Joe Fasula said.

In order for employees to enter the store bare-faced, they have to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated and waited the two-week incubation period. For customers, the policy is different.

“It is on the honor system because it’s absolutely impossible to enforce,” Fasula said.

It’s left shoppers like Chris Gunari feeling conflicted.

“I like it, I agree with it. It’s just that if, I don’t know, people are gonna be more saying that they’re vaccinated when they’re actually not,” Gunari said.

Despite being fully vaccinated, he kept his mask on the entire time while inside the store. Charles Robacker of Scranton was surprised by the signage at the entrance, and disagrees with the policy altogether.

“I’ll never take this off until I know for a 100 percent fact, that the U.S. has no more COVID,” Robacker said.

Fasula says anyone feeling ill is encouraged to skip the in-store shopping. Gerrity’s offers curbside pick up, phone orders and online shopping for those who may not feel comfortable, options to help shoppers sort through a constantly changing period of this pandemic.

“The CDC and the Department of Health really kind of put us in a corner, and we’re just trying to find the best thing to do,” Fasula said.

The new masking policy is in effect at all nine Gerrity’s Supermarket and Ace Hardware locations.

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