Video showing a group of furious shoppers berating a woman who wasn't wearing a face covering at a Staten Island ShopRite went viral over Memorial Day weekend. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Yorkers are required to wear masks or face coverings when out in public and unable to follow social distancing guidelines.
The footage shows customers yelling at the woman and demanding she leave the ShopRite because she isn't wearing a mask. The video, which was originally shared on Facebook, gained popularity on social media after a Twitter user reposted it Sunday night. (Warning: The following video contains language that may be offensive to some.)
A ShopRite spokesperson told CBS News in a statement Monday that the incident happened two weeks ago and the store management reported it to authorities. ShopRite said customers who notice others that aren't wearing face coverings should notify customer service and not take the matter into their own hands.
"Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. At ShopRite, we continue to adhere to our sanitation and social distancing protocols to ensure our stores remain a safe place for associates and customers to work and shop," the company said in a statement. "We are all in this together and we ask for everyone to be patient and understanding during this difficult time."
Many Twitter users came out in support of the customers who called the woman out, including actress Alyssa Milano.
"Never been prouder of growing up in Staten Island," Milano tweeted.
Others made light of the situation. Sam Biederman, an NYC Department of Parks and Recreation official, wrote, "In Staten Island they call this 'asking her politely to leave.'"
The video comes as some Staten Island local leaders have called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow the borough to reopen earlier than the rest of New York City. Cuomo has resisted those calls.
"If you live on Staten Island, you very well may be working in Manhattan, you're traveling through the New York City area," the governor said. "So Staten Island is a part of New York City. Staten Island just practically is still part of New York City, and that's the region in which the infection would spread."
First published on May 25, 2020 / 9:04 PM
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