Raleigh business owners anticipated, prepped for new mask mandate


RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh businesses are putting their “mask required” signs back on the windows, but some said they saw the new mandate coming as surrounding areas brought back their face covering requirements.

The recent rise in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the delta variant, led to the most recent mask mandate inside public businesses and buildings across Raleigh. The rule applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

But Raleigh is not the first. Durham County and the city’s indoor mask mandate started on Monday. Then Orange County followed suit.

That’s why owners at DeMo’s Pizza shop downtown say they’re not surprised by Friday’s announcement.

“After what we saw last week, and just the cases continue to rise, we knew that we were going to be revisiting the whole mask situation again,” co-owner Anthony DeMarco said.

DeMarco said he prepared by buying hundreds of masks in anticipation of Friday’s decision. He said he’d rather have a mask mandate than another round of shutdowns.

“I think the whole summary of this for all of the restaurants, really, it’s just be fortunate,” DeMarco said. “Be lucky that we’re still operating on a normal basis people are still going to come in.”

Wake County has not yet issued a county-wide mask mandate, but officials said they expect one to be put in place for unincorporated areas by the end of next week.

That’s where Laurie Pyszkowski’s owns her store, Wish Upon a Quilt, on the edge of Wake County.

She said she’s not waiting for county leaders to create a mask mandate.

“We’re just putting it in ahead of time so that people can get in the practice of doing it, really just to get into the practice of trying to be healthy, people being exposed to this delta variant,” Pyszkowski said.

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