Are Vermont shoppers wearing face masks?

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 5:12 PM EDT
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Masks are not required by the state to enter stores in Vermont. But state leaders recommend you do. Our Olivia Lyons stood outside three stores to count people wearing masks and people who are not. She found the number of people wearing masks on their way into and out of stores outnumbers the number of people who are going without.

"I would prefer to see more people wearing it, but you can't force people to do what they're not going to do," said Harold Weissman of Rutland.

While standing outside the Price Chopper in Rutland for an hour on Tuesday, I counted more people wearing their masks than not. I saw 117 people wearing masks while only 48 went without.

"I think it's the right thing to do to protect the others who are out there... those who are more vulnerable," Weissman said.

Similar findings when I stood outside of the CVS in Rutland-- 21 people were masked and only five were not.

The closest tallies were at Tenneybrook Market-- which also houses a Dunkin Donuts-- 17 people had on a mask while 14 did not.

"We still don't know how this thing broadcasts really at all. And so they're just taking a chance and I'm not willing to do that. I may be wearing this thing until they find a vaccine," said Mary-Ann Schulze of Rochester.

But some people who choose to wear a mask aren't as bothered by those who are not wearing them in stores.

"I'm not crazy about it, but it's going to happen and the chances are small that someone has it, so you just get on with it," said Charles Watts of Wallingford.

I asked multiple people who were not wearing masks to speak on camera, but they refused. Most did tell me they haven't worn one this whole time and have been fine, so why start now.