Prince George’s County fines market for violating mask mandate

Signs at the Dutch Village Market in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, tell customers it’s a “mask free zone.” (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Most employees at the Dutch Village Market were not wearing masks on Thursday; most customers were. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

Most employees at the Dutch Village Market were not wearing masks on Thursday; most customers were. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

The Dutch Village Market in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will be fined $1,000 for violating the county’s mask mandate. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

The Dutch Village Market in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will be fined $1,000 for violating the county’s mask mandate. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

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Prince George’s County is fining a market in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for operating in violation of its mask mandate.

Signs greeting customers at the Village Dutch Market read “This is a mask free environment” and “Shop at your own risk.”

Most of the employees were not wearing masks on Thursday; most of the customers were.

Elmer, manager of Sam’s Wing Counter, told WTOP, “the employees, it’s their choice.”

He said that his workers told him they were getting sick from wearing masks near the hot fryers.

“Since they took them off they felt a lot better, they had their energy back. So I said, ‘You know what; I’m going to leave it up to you guys at this point.'”

After receiving multiple complaints, Prince George’s County spokesman Anthony McAuliffe told WTOP that they conducted an unannounced inspection Aug. 13 to give a warning, and then did a follow-up inspection a couple of days later.

They said they will fine the store $1,000, and they will follow up again.

“The county may also conduct additional unannounced inspections in response to additional complaints from members of the community,” McAuliffe said. “If the business is found in violation of the mask mandate again, additional actions may be taken to protect the health and safety of residents.”

Shopper Linda McFadden said that the fact that most employees were not wearing masks concerned her.

“They’re talking, and serving people their food, so — yeah, that’s a problem to me,” McFadden said. “The number of people catching COVID is going back up. So to me everybody should still be wearing them.”

Terrie Starks, who was coming out of the market on Thursday, said she’s still going to be shopping there, because “I’m wearing my mask and I’m going to protect myself first and protect other people as well.”


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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