Some local stores requiring masks after cases increase

July 10, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

BY OLIVIA CAMERON- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has consistently updated their guidelines regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a face covering continues to be on the list of how to protect yourself and others when in public.
On July 3, Hudson’s Grocery posted signs in front of their business and stated publicly that masks would be required by anyone who enters the store. They have also reverted to monitoring the number of customers in the store which cannot exceed ten people.
A few locals responded to their statement saying they were glad to see the mask requirement and thanked Hudson’s for thinking of residents’ safety. 
Two days prior, Scarpa’s Coastal posted a similar statement requiring those who step foot in the restaurant to wear a mask. They have stated their employees will also be wearing face covers and encourage customers to ask the hostess for a mask if they do not have one. Scarpa’s has asked that customers wear their masks when they are not at their table. 
By July 3, Scarpa’s reverted to supplying curbside pick-up only, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The decision came to protect their staff and customers. With the change, they stated the restaurant would return to normalcy when conditions in the community improve.
Scarpa’s has since released they will be open for dine-in reservations starting this Friday, June 10, where masks will be required. Until then, they have continued their takeout only. 
The CDC still recommends social distancing of six feet from others, proper hygiene as well as avoiding work if sick.
At the Punta Gorda City Council meeting on July 8, members unanimously agreed on an emergency mandate requiring mask wearing in indoor public places.
Southwest Florida may see a majority of mask wearers in the coming weeks. 
This release was written prior to Scarpa’s sudden closing. The restaurant will remain closed until further notice.