A Word from the GM

- Gary Taylor

Hello Cooperators,


We needed to make a tough decision this month in regard to our masking policy. 


When making decisions such as this we try to include as many staff opinions as possible. We sent out a survey to all of our staff asking a simple question: when the State of Illinois drops it's mask mandate should we also drop the requirement or should we continue to require everyone to wear masks while in Common Ground? We also asked for any other suggestions or thoughts to support their point of view.


The result was basically a tie. 27 voting in favor of continuing to wear them and 27 voting in favor of no longer requiring them. (22 did not complete the survey)


There were a few things to consider when making this decision, including our staff's opinions. We took into account: 

  • the recommendations of the CDC and IDPH 
  • the overall health and well being of our staff 
  • the mental stress of having to approach people to insist they wear a mask
  • the resulting arguments from customers who vehemently oppose masking

In the end we determined that we would continue to require our staff to wear masks and we would strongly recommend that customers wear a mask also. However, we feel that the number and intensity of negative interactions with those who do not believe in wearing masks would continue to increase greatly. We do not feel that the stress, and possible verbal or physical abuse, that could come out of these situations was something we could ask our staff to bear. Therefore, we decided to place signs requesting that masks be worn. We will however, no longer approach those who refuse to wear them. 


We know that this will be disappointing to some people but we are in a situation where we all must realize we will not be able to reach an agreement that will make everyone 100% happy. The overall wellbeing of our staff was paramount in making this very difficult decision.


We will monitor the results for the next few weeks and reassess soon.


Thank you all for reading,