RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. — There’s a giant black and white sign at the one-way entry to Garden Heights Nursery. Since reopening May 18, the sign has advised all visitors that face masks are required.
“99% of the people abide by the rules,” owner Louis D'Agrosa said. “We have a few people who are like, ‘really? We have to wear a mask?’ "I tell them ‘Sorry, it is what we are requiring.’”
The Richmond Heights business had voluntarily required what St. Louis city and county leaders will now mandate.
On July 3, face masks must be worn in all public spaces. There are a few exceptions to the requirement.
D'Agrosa says they have a stock of disposable masks for any customers or employees who forget, but it doesn't happen often.
“It's a new normal, so to speak. You go to the grocery store, you wear mask. You go to the hardware store, you wear a mask,” he said. “That's how it should be anyway.”
Mickey Peniston stopped at the nursery for a second round of pink impatiens -- “the squirrels ate my first batch,” she explained – and she brought her own blue mask for the trip.
“I bring mine everywhere, I'm an old lady,” she said with a laugh.
And others are preparing like Peniston.
Thursday morning, a line formed outside St. Louis County Health Department on Hanley Road. Two employees handed out face masks ahead of the new Friday mandate.
For anyone worried about wearing face covering in the hot, summer sun, these words from someone with experience: "You get used to it,” D’Agrosa said. “My staff wears it all the time, and it's just one of those things that I think we all should do.”