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San Diego Grocers Scrambling To Comply With County Mask Order

A worker, wearing a protective mask against the coronavirus, stocks produce b...

Photo by Ben Margot / AP

Above: A worker, wearing a protective mask against the coronavirus, stocks produce before the opening of Gus's Community Market, Friday, March 27, 2020, in San Francisco.

Grocers throughout San Diego are scrambling to comply with the county’s order that many retail workers begin wearing facial coverings by midnight tonight.

But they say it’s something easier said than done with the pandemic putting protective gear in such short supply.

The amendments to San Diego county’s public health order came down Thursday. County officials are now strongly recommending that people wear facial coverings when they go out and they are requiring grocery workers and many other retail employees to wear them.

RELATED: County Orders Essential Workers Dealing With Public To Wear Face Covers

Reported by Amita Sharma , Video by Matthew Bowler

Dave Heylen, the spokesman for the Sacramento-based California Grocers Association said it’s a tall order, especially given that they are competing for masks with hospitals, nursing homes and even individuals.

“Asking us to secure thousands of masks within a day is a rather large challenge. We’re doing everything we can,” Heylen said. “I’ve talked with several of our members down in the San Diego area and they are doing everything they can. But I will be honest, it is a real challenge.”

Heylen added stores have already put in place a host of measures to protect customers and employees, including limiting the number of people that can be in the store at one time and in many cases putting up Plexiglas barriers between cashiers and customers.

He said it might be a few days before every grocer is in compliance and they need the county’s assistance to make it happen.

“We’re just hoping the county will be willing to work with us to be able to solve this,” Heylen said. “We need their help.”

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