The video shows shoppers yelling and pointing at the woman to leave the store
A video showing customers at a ShopRite in Staten Island screaming “get out” to a customer not wearing a mask has gone viral after being posted on Twitter.
The clip was shared by Twitter user McAuley Holmes, who did not take the video but posted it on social media after seeing it on Reddit. In the footage, you can hear mask-wearing customers shouting at a woman who did not wear a mask, pointing at her to get out of the store. Per Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers are required to wear masks or face coverings when out in public and unable to follow social distancing guidelines.
Holmes said he had mixed feelings about the video. “From what I can see in the video it seems there aren’t employees of the store involved in removing the shopper,” Holmes told Heavy. “Obviously private businesses have the right to refuse service to non-mask wearers, but a group of shoppers is different. Masks are important in stopping the spread and wearing one is a sign of respect to others,” he continued. “It’s understandable that people would be so serious about community enforcement in a place like Staten Island that has been hit so hard by COVID.”
New York has been the epicenter of the outbreak in the US for many weeks. To date, over 365,000 people in the state have tested positive and over 29,000 have lost their lives. Though Staten Island is 18 miles from the city itself, many residents work in Manhattan and can easily bring the virus to the area. Over 700 residents in Staten Island have died from the virus.
People were divided on social media about the treatment the woman received:
The store said it reported the incident when it happened and said in part, “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. At ShopRite, we continue to adhere to our sanitation and social distancing protocols to ensure our stores remain a safe place for associates and customers to work and shop. We are all in this together and we ask for everyone to be patient and understanding during this difficult time.”
“If you are not sick, you should wear a face-covering whenever you need to leave home and might be closer than 6 feet from others,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says. “Examples include riding the subway, ferry, or bus; riding in a taxi or car service; walking on a busy street; going to pharmacies and grocery stores; and going to the doctor or a hospital.”