Chester County businesses, customers speak out about mask requirement

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — While many businesses across the country are requiring masks, even in areas that do not have a mask mandate, some businesses here in West Tennessee are only requiring them for employees.

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If you stop by a restaurant in Chester County, you may notice employees wearing masks. Besso Coffee Shop in Henderson is one of those places where customers are not required to wear a face covering.

“We wanted to support the community and be sensitive to what our customers are facing and what they want,” said Tim West, owner of Besso Coffee Shop.

But West says they’re still asking that their employees wear masks while working.

“So we are requiring our employees when they are serving our customers, when they are behind the counter or in the kitchen. They are wearing their mask,” said West.

At El Ranchito’s Mexican Restaurant in Henderson, employees are also required to wear masks.

“Now it’s completely 100% requested for my employees and anybody who is welcomed in the kitchen and other areas of the restaurant and wearing their gloves and trying to take care of that,” said Claudia Aleman, owner of the restaurant.

Aleman says customers are not required to wear masks in the restaurant.

“I am not requesting the customers, the mask,” said Aleman. “It’s really impossible because how are they going to eat? So what I am trying to do is protect our customers and protect our families in wearing the masks.”

But Aleman has also added more services for customers including a drive-thru pick up for customers who are concerned about potential exposures to the COVID-19 virus and outdoor seating.

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Several people who live in Chester County say they don’t believe a mask mandate should be put in place, but they do think that wearing a mask decreases the chances of catching the coronavirus.

“I feel like there probably shouldn’t be. I know we are trying to be safe about all this kind of stuff,” said Chester County resident Justin Puente.

“Highly recommended if you’re going to be around people, just protect yourself and protect others. Mandate? I don’t really know. I sort of feel like it might infringe on peoples’ rights,” said Chester County resident, Mike Alexander.

Those who were in favor of having a mask mandate chose not to speak on camera but did say they believe that wearing a mask lowers the chances of contracting the coronavirus.

Chester County Mayor Barry Hutcherson says he will not enforce a mask mandate in the county. However, he does encourage everyone to wear a mask when out in in public.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News