Hampton Roads resident creates Facebook group showcasing 'mask friendly' businesses

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 15:03:53-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - "We are seeing troubling numbers, and they are largely out of the Hampton Roads area," said Governor Ralph Northam last week.

After Governor Northam made that announcement alerting the public that Hampton Roads was a hot spot for new coronavirus cases, Cathy Lewis' new Facebook group gained even more traction.

"The response was unbelievable and overwhelming," Lewis said. "At last count, we have more than 2,000 people just in a couple weeks' time."

On June 17, she created the Facebook group Mask Friendly Businesses in the 757.

"People want to know from a safety perspective where they can go and where they should stay away from," she said.

The group breaks up businesses, including restaurants, into cities so residents can look at who is complying with the mask mandate and who is not, whether it be customers or the business itself.

"This is not a tattle-tale page. This is factual," she stated.

Lewis says even businesses have jumped onto the group to alert patrons about their enforcement efforts or even explain why they may not have been wearing a mask.

"It is deeply gratifying to provide people with information that lets them make decisions that make them feel the safest," she said.

Related: Virginia Beach business owner frustrated at non-mask wearers

A free resource for the community as we all work to navigate this new normal.

"We have really tried to show where you can go and where to avoid for a bit," she explained. "This is a time of anxiety for so many people. We can't control much, but we can control where we go."

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