Medford-Jackson Co. Chamber survey shows respondents are overwhelmingly against new mask rules

MEDFORD, Ore. —A poll of Rogue Valley businessmen and women, shows they’re overwhelming against the state’s new COVID-19 mask mandate. Businesses are now either requiring people to wear masks unless an employee confirms individuals not wearing masks, are fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the Medford-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce sent out a mask survey to the southern Oregon business community. It received a record number of results. A survey of 1,300 people in the Rogue Valley business community, shows people are growing tired of mask mandates.

“It is an overwhelming response that people are over wearing masks, they’re just over it period,” said Tiffany Perez, from Tiffany’s At Home furniture store.

It was conducted by the Medford-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce online. 1300 people in the business responded in less than 24 hours. 88% said mask rules should end immediately. On another question, 93% agreed retailers may adopt policies allowing vaccinated customers not to wear masks, but businesses will not have to require proof of vaccine.

“While I understand that people are over it, being over it doesn’t mean it’s over, that’s not the same thing,” said Perez.

Perez is a chamber member. She says masks will still be required at her downtown Medford store. If a person isn’t wearing one, she says she’ll ask for verification of their vaccine status.

“Without requiring proof there’s just no way to verify if somebody has been vaccinated or not where there-in lies the problem,” said Perez.

Over at Rogue Regency, that’s not the case. General manager Bruce Hoevet, also a chamber member, says it won’t be checking people for proof of vaccination, and if a guest isn’t wearing one, they won’t be turned away.

“Businesses should not have to ask guests for their vaccination cards, and we will not,” said Hoevet.

Hoevet says his staff is fully masked, whether they are vaccinated or not. He says he’s had too many incidents with customers not wearing them.

“I don’t have to wear a mask, and so we’re not going to argue with them we’re going to allow them to come in and enjoy our services,” said Hoevet.

Though both are managing their business in different ways, they do see eye to eye on one issue. They both hope mask restrictions should be dropped when 70 % of Oregonians are vaccinated.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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