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Sacramento businesses asking customers to mask up as coronavirus cases increase

Some Sacramento businesses are taking precautions as cases of the Delta variant increase and are requiring customers to wear masks in their shops.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Capital Books is one of many businesses in Sacramento asking its customers to wear a mask before they enter due to the rise in cases of the Delta variant.

"We still require masks mostly because we have a lot of families that come in under 12. That's kind of one of our triggers because they can't get vaccinated," Ross Rojek, owner of Capital Books, said.

On K Street in Downtown Sacramento when you enter Capital Books, you're greeted first by a sign that reads "because we have families with yet to be vaccinated children we still require that everyone entering wear a mask that covers both mouth and nose."  

Rojek said he knows of two customers dying from COVID-19 and just recently had a four-year-old customer get sick from the virus.

"One of our customers... was doing story time with us and had to skip last week because she ended up with COVID," Rojek said. "She sick was pretty hard for over a week, so it's things like that that we know are going on."

A third of the staff at Capitol Books is considered high risk and wearing a mask keeps them safe and able to work. He said he wishes the county would mandate mask wearing and not just recommend it, which would help deal with customers who refuse to comply.

"They blame us," Rojek said. "I get the eyeroll or I get yelled at because we make them wear a mask for the two minutes it takes for them to grab their thing and go. It's helpful if we can roll it up and say 'well, the county is making us do it.'" 

David Gull owns New Helvetia Brewing Company and said starting Wednesday, July 21, masks will be required to enter his business. Customers will be able to sit at their tables without one to enjoy a beer, but Gull said, as cases of the Delta variant rise in the region and throughout the state, it's the right time to get back to a very simple safety protocol of requiring people to wear masks while they are inside.

"We understand there's going to be some people who they think it's a statement or they want to make their statement by not wearing their mask and that's fine but do it somewhere else," Gull said.

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