Mask or no mask? Menards forcing customers to wear masks

The home improvement chain is enforcing a new policy at all of its stores.

Posted: May 8, 2020 11:37 PM
Updated: May 9, 2020 8:58 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - If you’ve made a trip to Menards lately, you’ve likely noticed the company is taking a strong stance on keeping you safe. However, not all customers are happy with the decision.

A viral video surfaced this past week with an Indiana couple being given the option to purchase and wear a mask, or to leave the store. The home improvement chain had pre-existing social distancing guidelines but stepped it up by saying all customers must wear a mask or facial covering.

KIMT News 3 reached out to the Menards corporate offices on Friday which declined to comment on camera, but quickly sent the following statement in regards to its social distancing policy:

“We have 6-foot social distancing signs all over the store including department desks and checkouts, plus 6-foot distance floor markings in the checkout lanes. We are asking all customers and employees to wear a mask while inside our store. We encourage people to wear their own mask, but if someone doesn’t have a mask, we have a limited number of 3-layer facemasks available for purchase for one dollar while supplies last. We’re simply trying to keep our store as a safe place for all.”

Jonas Dean says he visits the store multiple times a week and was surprised when he was told he had to wear a facial covering.

“There was a guard there and I came in and they stopped me and I said, ‘Oh, I’m here all the time” and they said no, this just went into place today – you need to have a mask.”

With his sense of humor intact, he complied.

“I went out to my vehicle and I put a t-shirt around my face and I came back in the store kind of to make a point,” Dean said.

Customers like Dean have said some of the guards enforcing the new policy have been armed.

In a statement, Menards told KIMT it has contracted a security company to help with the enforcement but says guards are in short supply. When the company runs out of unarmed guards, they will sometimes send one who is armed.

Customers say they feel this is highly unnecessary because other stores are not following suit.

“I think we should be safe but I also don’t necessarily think we should be forced or be babysat into wearing something,” Dean added.

In regards to armed guards, the statement from Menards says the following:

“Being armed is not a service request we ask for.” The statement continues on “It’s comforting that the temporary guards at our stores are highly trained just in case they’re needed.”

The company is working toward applying this policy at all of its stores.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 142311

Reported Deaths: 2472
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Hennepin35484995
Ramsey14726372
Dakota10271139
Anoka9344155
Washington636273
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Scott360436
Olmsted340230
St. Louis325874
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Clay252944
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Blue Earth21147
Carver18887
Sherburne183122
Kandiyohi18215
Rice170210
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Chisago11562
Crow Wing114322
Benton103311
Lyon10306
Beltrami9618
Otter Tail9508
Waseca94510
Todd8967
Polk8364
Morrison8259
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Douglas7744
Nicollet77118
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Martin62618
Becker6214
McLeod6214
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Watonwan5824
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Meeker3593
Rock3595
Brown3483
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Wilkin1454
Clearwater1381
Norman1340
Lake1330
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Grant1054
Red Lake822
Traverse590
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Lake of the Woods441
Cook190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
Dubuque550658
Scott487343
Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
Buena Vista230212
Marshall212236
Webster196015
Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
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Des Moines151611
Cerro Gordo150227
Crawford138714
Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
Lee101312
Tama100538
Delaware82713
Dickinson7939
Wright7591
Boone7509
Mahaska73824
Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
Benton6482
Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
Winnebago52119
Cedar5087
Winneshiek5079
Hardin5017
Jones5004
Kossuth4970
Clayton4923
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Hamilton4825
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Emmet45321
Iowa4429
Cass4233
Mills4233
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Sac4114
Butler4083
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Franklin39518
Madison3743
Chickasaw3731
Hancock3676
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Monroe27212
Union2645
Taylor2602
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Appanoose2503
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Ida2122
Adair1971
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