Some businesses note decline in face mask use since reopening

Mask sales have remained steady at children’s boutique Tugboat and The Bird on Park Avenue in Winter Park since they re-opened last month. 

“You can buy the four-packs. I just got these in yesterday. I’m already sold out of the child ones. I’ve had a lot of child ones,” said owner Laura Haftel. “Smallest we’ve been able to find fits a two to six-year-old.”

The Florida Department of Health reported on Thursday 1,698 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike since the start of the pandemic. Although Haftel is selling a lot of masks, she’s noticing a difference in mask-wearing habits.   

Back in early May when she first reopened her doors, she estimates that around 95% of customers were wearing masks.

"Our employees, we all wear masks,” Haftel added. 

Five-and-a-half weeks later, she’s noticing her customers aren’t wearing masks quite as much.  

“I would say like maybe 30%, 40% [aren’t wearing masks]. I think just not as much as they were. I think some people are getting more comfortable; some people just forget. I’ve had people say ‘Oh my gosh, I forgot my mask! Can I still come in?’ I say, 'Of course!”

Haftel is still doing everything within her power to prevent the spread of germs and the virus. 

“As a business owner, all I can do is require my employees to wear masks, and we still are sanitizing,” Haftel explained.  “We’ll just have to continue to watch the numbers.”