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Whole Foods staff kick 14-year-old disabled girl out of Virginia store for not wearing a mask

A Virginia state order exempts, “Any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”
Wed Mar 10, 2021 - 11:29 am EST
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VIENNA, Virginia, March 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A mother, her severely disabled daughter, and her daughter's nurse were recently asked to leave a Whole Foods in Vienna, Virginia, because the daughter was not wearing a mask. The non-verbal 14-year-old girl has high-tone cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound due to quadriplegia. 

According to the mother, Teresa Schultz, Virginia state mask mandates exempt people like her daughter from having to wear face coverings. The Virginia order exempts, “[a]ny person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.” It furthers states, “Nothing in this Order shall require the use of a mask by any person for whom doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition.”

With the exception of the Whole Foods confrontation, Schultz says her daughter, Mary, has never had issues entering establishments mask-free. However, this time, Schultz, Mary, and Mary’s nurse were approached by two Whole Foods employees because the girl was unmasked.  According to an interview with The Federalist, the employees did not believe Schultz when she told them that the law protects her daughter from any obligation to cover her face because of her disabilities.

Instead, the Whole Foods employees would not back down.  According to Schultz: “They said, ‘You can’t be here with her,’ and I said, ‘Excuse me?’ They said she had to have a mask on and I said, ‘Can’t you see she is in a wheelchair and is exempt from the mandate?’ I told them that it’s the law. [One of the employees] said it wasn’t and I said that you don’t want to go here.”

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Schultz was so upset by the confrontation; she took her story to Twitter.  “Muffinbear [Mary] just was kicked out of Whole Food Vienna for not wearing a mask. Think I’m a little ticked? This needs to get lit,” she posted last week on the social media platform.

Schultz’s husband, John, called the store and asked to speak to the manager but was received by the same customer service manager who had asked his wife and daughter to leave. 

“When I first called the store, I got the customer service manager, who happened to be the one who kicked Teresa and our daughter out of the store. I told him about the original mask mandate and the clause about persons with medical issues being exempt. I quoted it and he doubled down,” John explained.  “…He bounced me to another manager in the store who apparently was senior to him, and he and an assistant manager told me that the person was wrong to kick me out of the store. It sounds like they need some staff training and some empathy. People like [my daughter] really should not be subject to this kind of treatment.”

After the call was escalated to a superior, they quickly realized their mistake and apologized. Teresa followed up with another tweet: “The WF local store manager called yesterday to apologize. He said they acted badly and they would make sure their employees were educated. Still waiting on corporate to respond.”


  covid-19, masks, whole foods

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