Police attend Costco after anti-masker refuses to wear mask or leave

Cops called to mask dispute

On the first day Costco Kelowna started requiring patrons wear face masks to enter, the store had to call police after a customer took exception to the new policy.

Kelowna RCMP tell Castanet they were called to the Kelowna Costco location Monday morning, "following a disturbance after a patron who had refused to don a mask upon entering the business refused to leave when requested to do so by staff."

"Our officer attended to investigate the allegation of trespassing. Once spoken to, the man agreed to leave the business without further incident," said Kelowna RCMP.

Costco announced they were shifting to a mandatory mask policy last Thursday and implemented the protocol at all of their stores Monday morning.

"Costco has had a face mask policy in effect since May 4, 2020, but members who could not wear a mask due to a medical condition were exempt. This is no longer the case. If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco," said Costco Wholesale President and CEO, Craig Jelinek.

Kelowna RCMP say businesses have the right to ask their clients to wear face coverings or non-medical masks "while on-premises in the absence of the ability to socially distance and to refuse service for non-compliance."

"Clients have the right not to attend the business if they decide not to wear a protective mask to help prevent the spread COVID-19."

The latest information from Dr. Bonnie Henry on Monday shows that there have been 1,959 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in B.C. from November 14 to November 16, including 87 in Interior Health.

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