Clarification Regarding Our In-Store Mask Policy
We have received many inquiries regarding our in-store mask policy, and we are writing to address concerns that have been expressed about exemptions that Nature’s Emporium is allowing to its mask policy, including those that were set out in a recent YorkRegion.com article.
Toward the end of 2020 – Nature’s Emporium instituted a strict (no exemption) mask policy for all employees and customers. We did this recognizing that the Province had gone into lockdown in the face of increasing case counts and the emergence of variants; there was then a limited availability of N95 masks which were needed for healthcare workers and first responders; and, there were no vaccines available. To put it simply, the policy was reasonably necessary for the protection of our workers’ and customers’ health.
Fortunately though, the situation improved as we moved through the spring of 2021. Vaccines became more readily available, case counts came down, and more personal protective equipment became available. With that, as the Province moved to reopen – we were able to revisit our mask requirement policy, and to permit exemptions. That is the situation in which we find ourselves.
We wish to assure all of our employees and customers that we have put their safety first throughout the Pandemic, while also trying to balance that against our obligation to accommodate those who, in good faith, cannot wear masks. That is why we have, since the beginning, provided alternative options to all of our customers including personal shoppers, home delivery, and curbside pickup.
At the same time, we appreciate that concerns have been expressed with the exemptions that are now being permitted to our masking policy, and that some people may be abusing the fact that the law does not permit us to require proof that someone qualifies for an exemption. We take those concerns very seriously, and we are constantly re-assessing public health requirements in our stores, in consultation with qualified epidemiological expertise. If, and as, the situation evolves and changes are required – we will revisit the appropriateness of exemptions to our masking policy.
Nature’s Emporium is grateful for, and appreciative of its customers’ understanding. Health and safety has always been, and will always be, Nature Emporium’s top priority.
Recognizing that, we kindly ask and strongly encourage customers who cannot wear a mask due to due to medical reasons, to use our curbside pick-up, delivery and/or personal shopping services, and, all customers are asked to be respectful of each other and to continue to follow health and safety protocols to help keep everyone safe:
- Maintain a physical distance: Please remember to keep a safe distance from each other while shopping – at least 2 metres apart.
- Hand sanitization: Please remember to sanitize your hands prior to entering the store. We have sanitization stations set-up at each entrance.
- Are you experiencing symptoms? Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please have a friend or family member shop for you. Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 include the below:
- New onset of cough or worsening chronic cough
- Muscle aches and tiredness
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Runny nose, nasal congestion (without other known cause)
- Sneezing (other than from seasonal allergies)
- Sore throat
- Decrease or loss of sense of taste or smell
- Chills, headaches
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Have you been in contact with someone who has traveled internationally or tested positive for COVID? If the answer is yes to any of these, please refrain from leaving your home to shop in order to help prevent potential spread of the virus.