Mask policy not being enforced at barn.Wwyd? *Updated*

I live in a state with a statewide mask mandate. All employees in a business must wear a masks/face shield. Anyone out and about in public must wear a mask unless they have a medical excuse or are under the age of 2.

My coach as repeatedly reminded clients that masks are required in the barn. There is a a mother and daughter who seem to never being wearing them. What’s most concerning about this is that the mother works in healthcare and is administering COVID tests as part of her job. This behavior continued even after a more recent reminder from our coach about masks. They will be in the barn, surrounded by everyone else in masks, and never put one on.

The other issue is the barn staff. None of them are ever wearing masks. Their direct supervisor is the BO. However, the BO is extremely hands-off and has been out of state since COVID issues began. I am not sure if she has set foot in the barn once since the state issues the mask orders. It’s possible she may not know that her employees are not following the orders. Our coach is not their boss and told me she is not sure what direction the BO has given them.

I’m not sure what I should do, if anything. I work with an at-risk population and am currently working from home (again) as a result of multiple individuals testing positive at my job. Earlier this fall I asked my coach if she could send out a reminder about the mask policy and she did. However, this particular woman and her daughter continue to ignore it and my coach has no real control over the barn staff. Should I speak to my coach directly about the mother and daughter? I have never met the BO and am not sure if how it would be perceived if I randomly reached out to her concerning her staff, whom I am otherwise on good terms with. A couple months ago I was more willing to let this go because the barn is located in an area that was seemingly less effected by COVID, but as the numbers across the country continue to skyrocket these past weeks, and with the projected toll of irresponsible gatherings over the holidays, I am losing my patience.

Update: I spoke to my trainer recently. She was agreeable to reminding other clients about the mask policy. However, she said she has tried talking to the BO about things and she doesn’t seem to care. I’m not sure how to proceed from here, or if I even should. The only other option would be to report the barn to the state. While I would hate to see the barn closed I would also hate to, you know, catch COVID and/or pass to the individuals I work with. :unamused: I think it’s going to be difficult to keep clients following the mask mandate when they see the staff never doing so. Clearly some adults lack the integrity to do the right thing.

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[/quote] I live in a state with a statewide mask mandate. All employees in a business must wear a masks/face shield. Anyone out and about in public must wear a mask unless they have a medical excuse or are under the age of 2.

My coach as repeatedly reminded clients that masks are required in the barn. There is a a mother and daughter who seem to never being wearing them. What’s most concerning about this is that the mother works in healthcare and is administering COVID tests as part of her job. This behavior continued even after a more recent reminder from our coach about masks. They will be in the barn, surrounded by everyone else in masks, and never put one on.

The other issue is the barn staff. None of them are ever wearing masks. Their direct supervisor is the BO. However, the BO is extremely hands-off and has been out of state since COVID issues began. I am not sure if she has set foot in the barn once since the state issues the mask orders. It’s possible she may not know that her employees are not following the orders. Our coach is not their boss and told me she is not sure what direction the BO has given them.

I’m not sure what I should do, if anything. I work with an at-risk population and am currently working from home (again) as a result of multiple individuals testing positive at my job. Earlier this fall I asked my coach if she could send out a reminder about the mask policy and she did. However, this particular woman and her daughter continue to ignore it and my coach has no real control over the barn staff. Should I speak to my coach directly about the mother and daughter? I have never met the BO and am not sure if how it would be perceived if I randomly reached out to her concerning her staff, whom I am otherwise on good terms with. A couple months ago I was more willing to let this go because the barn is located in an area that was seemingly less effected by COVID, but as the numbers across the country continue to skyrocket these past weeks, and with the projected toll of irresponsible gatherings over the holidays, I am losing my patience.
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You have every right to reach out to the barn owner over what can truly be a life threatening situation. Explain the issue just as you did here.

If the people continue to violate a State mandate I would notify the local health authority, but I have zero patience with people who endanger others lives.

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The question is, what would I do? I long ago accepted that I can’t control anyone but me (and sometimes that is a struggle!) —but that doesn’t mean I can’t spread some information that is maybe not exactly 100% true --when I am at a place (mainly competitions this summer when people were supposed to mask and distance and not all did) I wore my mask and when anyone came within 10 or 15 feet of me (mounted or not) I said loudly: “I would feel dreadful if you caught COVID because of me --my daughter is exposed daily!” --my daughter is exposed daily (she’s an RN on the COVID front lines) but she doesn’t live near me and doesn’t come home least she infect me or her father. It didn’t take long before people were aware and made a point of not coming close to me --and I believe I saw more than a few drag that mask back up as they came close to me. I packed my own food, sat by myself, and again --loudly proclaimed that “I don’t want to infect you,” to anyone who came close. You might even tell the mum --loudly --that you’d feel just awful if her daughter caught COVID from you —

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I would talk to the coach, and since coach is not the barn worker’s boss, I would ask the coach if they want to talk to the BO, or if they would like you to talk to the BO. Make it clear that this is an extremely important matter, and if coach doesn’t contact BO, you absolutely will.
I’d find out from the BO what their protocol is supposed to be, and if BO says they’re supposed to wear masks, inform them that workers and boarders alike are not.

I’d be prepared to stop visiting that facility if BO seems nonchalant/unconcerned about wearing masks, and/or if people still don’t start wearing them.

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I think that’s a good idea.

However, since the State has mandated masks, employee and customer mask wearing is not the BO’s call. Enforcement of mask wearing is. I think the local health authorities would be happy to explain the rules to the BO if there is any confusion.

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What exactly is your state’s mask policy? Many states mask mandates are mandatory for any indoor space and outside when social distancing isn’t possible. So if your state is one of those where it’s mask anywhere all the time, then the offending mother and child need to be reminded. I don’t know that I would call the health department to report them because that could also get your barn fined and perhaps shut down. The offending mother/child need to be reminded. I think it’s pretty easy to maintain social distancing at most barns so I’d just steer clear of the 2 of them, but give them a reminder any time the opportunity presents itself. i.e. Please give me time to leave the tackroom before you come in since you arent’ wearing a mask. Pleae don’t come near me you’re not wearing a mask.etc. I don’t get people. Yes, wearing a mask all day is annoying but if thats the state’s law everyone needs to abide by it. I don’t know why some people think rules don’t apply to them. SMH

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I have some sympathy with the barn workers. Doing physical labor (like mucking stalls, etc.) in a mask isn’t fun. Our barn owner does not make the stall cleaner wear a mask and I’m okay with that. It’s pretty easy to stay a safe distance away.

But there’s no reason the mother/kid can’t wear masks when they tack up. If they’ve ignored it this long, and your coach has let it slide, I wouldn’t expect them to have a sudden change of heart. They know the coach isn’t really going to enforce it. I would probably just try to stay away from them, but if that isn’t possible, you’ll have to start calling them out on it. You might find that if you start saying something to them, others at your barn will as well, and they’ll eventually give in to the peer pressure.

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None of this is fun. People becoming seriously ill and/or dying isn’t fun. Seeing Medical professionals and hospitals being overwhelmed isn’t fun. Medical professionals becoming ill and dying is not fun. Not seeing/visiting your family isn’t fun. Not being able to attend funerals and memorials isn’t fun. I could go on forever.

I’ve have been wearing a mask, since February. I’m not having fun at all, but it’s the right thing to do.

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You should talk to the coach and BO. I wouldn’t report to any official entity due to the rush of being shut down.

My approach is to attempt to lead by example.

There are a few of us at my barn that are really good about it and a variation with others. Cross ties have signs that say to wear a mask. Many don’t. Grooms were for a time, now aren’t. I try to sit by myself if I’m eating and there are people I flat out avoid, especially if they’ve been traveling or seem not to be careful. Most people seem to respect the air space of people who do consistently wear masks and I’ve seen a few people grab theirs when they see me as if I reminded them.

While I will tack walk with one on, I don’t always wear one if actually working a horse, especially when it’s hot. I did manage to wear one for the entirety of a 30-minute practicum via Zoom for the USHJA HQC finals, even though I was moving and talking and my heart rate was a bit elevated bc of nerves.

I apologize for my choice of words. I personally do see a difference between someone doing physical labor and someone who just can’t be inconvenienced by wearing a mask while tacking up their horse and I’m willing to give one of these people more leeway. The OP has to make her own decisions about which of these battles are worth fighting. At my barn, I’ve decided that the stall cleaner not wearing a mask is a low enough risk that I’m not going to argue with my BO about it. Someone not wearing their mask in the tack room or while hanging out chatting in the barn aisle, I will say something. However everyone’s circumstances and risk tolerances are different.

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I would talk to the BO and/or coach. I keep my horses at home so I don’t wear a mask when working with them. But I do wear one when trail riding with friends, working with their horses or clipping for others. I’m also currently cleaning stalls and doing barn chores for my trainer during which I do wear a mask at all times. If I do need to remove my mask when working I’ll step out to the muck pile or my car and take a break. Then I replace it with a clean mask and continue doing my job. It’s terrible because we’re in FL and it makes me so sweaty along with breaking out. But I do it out of respect for all those around me. I would be devastated if any of my trainer’s clients or my friends caught COVID because of me or I brought it home to my family.

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Well done you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I have the utmost respect for people who do the right thing even when it is inconvenient.
I see the road construction workers are all wearing masks here. We can get through this, but only if everyone does their part.

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Until people stop making up their own rules, rather than follow health officials advice and/or mandates, this pandemic will continue out of control.
It is too bad that mandates are even necessary, we should do the right thing without being forced. But people obviously don’t and some will ignore the mandates as well. That is why the virus is raging out of control in this country, again.

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Here are some thoughts for whatever they are worth. With the assumption that yes, you have to contact the BO and report your concerns. Personally I’d let the BM know I was making that contact and what I would say. But I would not count on them to pass on my message, as there is no knowing if they underplay it, or don’t pass it on as all. I would consider it my responsibility to say my piece directly to the barn owner. (By email is also ok.)

One concern is that it looks as if covid restrictions and laws in America generally may be in place for months to come, perhaps through the summer. So if the barn isn’t coping now, what happens in 3 months, or 6 months? You have to answer that for yourself, because they may not be specific with you. The current situation won’t get better without clear lines of authority and active enforcement. It is the BO’s responsibility to delegate the enforcement job to someone who is almost always there, someone who has the personality, as well as the authority and the sanctions to hold the line. It will not be pleasant, because it is easier to give the leeway than it is to pull it back.

Here, businesses have signs at the door “by state law, a mask is required to enter and remain on the premises”, follow by the reference to the state law by number. . In your case, if I were the BO, I’d get a sign printed up with similar official words and put it where every person has to walk close by it.

Here, a college that was first implementing the mask policy said that if any student came to class without a mask, they would be asked politely to leave. If they insisted on staying, then class was cancelled.

Perhaps the BO could make a policy that anyone not wearing a mask will be asked to leave, (unless they can produce a mask and wear it). If they refuse to wear the mask or to leave, then they are not allowed to touch or use any stable facilities, including the wash rack, cross ties, etc. They are not allowed in the tack room and so must keep their tack with them. Either they honor these restrictions at the barn, or are asked to leave.

The barn could also order a package of N95 masks, and offer to hand one to anyone who came without a mask.

At some point, if anyone absolutely refuses to comply with barn policy, they have to be asked to leave as a boarder. [Life will be easier when all of the boarders are people who believe in compliance.]

Then someone at the barn has to be assigned the job of enforcement. Someone with the right personality to do it politely, and the authority to issue said sanctions. And the will to do it.

As said, this will be tough, because it is easier to just not to enforce rules, than it is to enforce those rules after allowing them to be flaunted for weeks or months. Easier to pay line out than it is to reel it back in.

I’m surprised the BO is not concerned about future liability. There are clear guideline and even a state law about covid. I wouldn’t bring this concern to the BO as they might feel threatened. But a wave of lawsuits could be coming in this country against retail operators that allowed people to be close enough to exchange their covid germs.

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I would speak to the BM first, but they are one of the barn staff are are not wearing a mask. I am not a boarder and do not feel like I have the rapport to be directly confronting staff about things. Being just a lesson client, I know I am low on the food chain. At this point, I think I would ask my coach to speak to the BO about the staff. Also, I have come to realize the pattern in many clients only wearing their masks when our coach is around. I was at the barn tonight and between 6 people I was the only one in a mask. My coach needs to address this.

Yes, the BO’s seeming lack of concern about potential liability is confusing. My coach seems to be more concerned seeing as she will lose income from lessons and possible showing if the barn get forcibly closed. Like I said, the BO is extremely hands-off to the point that she rarely is actually in the barn. I’ve been riding there for almost a year and a half and have never met her. Her competence as a barn owner is a topic for a different thread, but nonetheless this is her responsibility.

I hate to make waves within a barn crew that, up until recently, I really liked and appreciated. But unfortunately it seems COVID has truly brought to light how selfish and willfully ignorant people can be when it comes to protecting others by means a mild inconvenience. The clientele of this barn dealt with a strangles outbreak amongst a group of less than 25 horses with more consistency and precision than they are an international pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of humans in their own country.

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How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky

How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry

How many deaths will it take 'tlll he knows that too many people have died?

The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind :cry:

An old version by some very young Bee Gees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p5TpExixTU

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Have you been out in public? Mandatory mask signs does not mean it’s being enforced or must be enforced. I have been in very few businesses that will refuse service or remove someone for not wearing a mask. If the local health authorities do not care about mask enforcement in Walmart they certainly don’t care about a horse barn.

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Interesting. I wondered all summer why none of the road workers I ever saw (and there was a lot of construction on my daily commute) were wearing a mask.
Heck, the construction workers inside buildings were rarely wearing a mask when I was on a job site.

My county had one of its earliest covid waves last spring from construction workers. It went from the workers to their families, and from the families to the people they were carpooling with, and the co-workers at the family member’s jobs.

Once it was made clear to everyone that there would be testing of construction crews, and that people testing positive would be missing work (they are hourly workers, so no work = no pay), suddenly compliance wasn’t an issue.

And, their contact tracing as well, so their families and even carpool riders got sucked into 14-day quarantine.

But there had to be personal consequences for non-compliance before they started wearing the masks, on their own decision. There must be consequences, every time, or people don’t take it seriously. It’s just the way people are wired.

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Yes, but I only go out when necessary. There are signs in the windows of every business here and they enforce the mask rule. You don’t get in the business, period , if you aren’t wearing a mask. It’s taken very seriously here. If a person doesn’t like it they can get someone else to shop for them or call ahead and the store will bring their purchase out to them.

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