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Shawano County campground owner says she’ll treat wearing masks on her property as a burglary in progress

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GRESHAM, Wis. (WAOW) -- Ann Retzlaff is the owner of Annie's Campground in Shawano County. For the past 10 years she said Memorial Day has symbolized the kickoff to summer at the campground. The campground has numerous events planned throughout the weekend. However, this will be the first Memorial Day weekend during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This weekend we’re probably going to have 1200+ people here," Retzlaff said. "My responsibility is to take care of my family and my property, but also I run a business so it’s my responsibility to also provide as safe of an environment as I can.”

To continue to provide a safe environment for her campground, Retzlaff said masks are prohibited when people are first coming into her facilities.

"Unfortunately there have been people taking advantage of small businesses in our area and the vulnerabilities that it projects simply because it’s now become the norm that masks are acceptable,” Retzlaff stated. "Masks are not allowed in my building. We want to do a positive facial recognition.”

If someone is wearing a mask, they'll have to remove it before entering any of the buildings on the campground. Retzlaff said her and her staff need to be able to identify a person, or else it will be treated as a burglary in progress.

Retzlaff added that it takes police and first responders a minimum of 10 minutes to get to the remote campsite, so there won't be hesitation to act on the "burglary in progress" depending on the nature of the situation for those who don't remove their masks. After self-identification, Retzlaff said you can then wear your mask at your campsite if you'd like.

During the pandemic, health officials have said it's important to wear masks for your own safety and the safety of those around you.

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