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Newport business owner defends decision to violate mask order

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Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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NEWPORT, Vt. (WCAX) - A Newport business owner faced a judge Friday for refusing to abide by the state’s mask mandate.

Vermont’s attorney general sued the owner of the now-former UPS store, Mike Desautels, for failing to require employees and customers to wear masks. The state argues Desautels placed employees and members of the public at risk of contracting COVID-19 and they want a judge to order him to stop violating the mask mandate.

Desautels told the court that his employee has a medical condition that prevents her from wearing a mask and he says he is not technically an employee and so is not required to wear one either.

The UPS Store corporate office stripped the Newport store of its franchise deal last month, but the store remains open.

The court hearing will resume on Monday.

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