Level of hospitality

One Texas boss is telling the workers: no masks allowed.

That’s what a back-of-the-house employee at a Hillstone Restaurant Group establishment in Dallas was told last week, as restaurants prepared to reopen at 25% capacity, according to CBS Dallas.

That employee, who did not want to be identified publicly, expressed discomfort and was told to think about it—and then was removed from the schedule, the employee told CBS Dallas’ Brooke Rogers.

If you’re not willing to die on the job, you’re fired.

The employee said management also told her that face masks don’t complement the restaurant group’s style or level of hospitality.

Oddly enough that’s true of pretty much all restaurants, as well as shops, bars, theaters, offices, schools – lots of workplaces. They’re usual and undisturbing in medical settings, dentists’ offices, many factories, farms, construction sites and the like. I’ve worn dust masks on the job plenty of times. The public areas of restaurants naturally tend not to be full of people with masks in normal times, but these aren’t normal times.

Infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Diana Cervantes called Hillstone’s decision concerning.

“It is really important to be able to wear those face coverings, especially if you can’t keep that six-foot social distancing, which of course when you go to a restaurant, that it very hard to maintain,” Cervantes, of UNT Health Science Center, said.

In fact impossible. There’s no way to put people’s food in front of them from six feet away.

She points to Governor Greg Abbott’s minimum standard health protocols for restaurants, which encourages social distancing first. But if that’s not feasible, it says measures such as face coverings should be rigorously practiced.

Which protects the customers as well as the workers, after all.

Hillstone management also points to the law, writing on its website: “Current orders do not require our staff or guests to wear face masks. If you are concerned about your safety in this respect, we hope you will join us a later date.”

Or how about never; never’s good for me.

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