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Oakes Farms refuses to require masks at business locations in Collier County

Masks are now required in Collier County, but at least one business says it won’t follow the order. Some people say they are “disgusted” at the business’ reaction.

Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms in Collier County, has made it clear he is against many things surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and he is against a mask mandate in the county, where he runs his businesses.

”I think it’s disgusting what’s going on in here,” Kim Levitan said.

Levitan can’t believe Oakes’ employees and shoppers still don’t wear masks inside Seed to Table Market in Collier County.

”I’m a republican, and this is a pandemic,” Levitan said. “A pandemic you don’t have rights like that. You have to save and care for everybody else, and it’s your parents … your neighbors who could get really sick.”

Oakes says he won’t crack down on face coverings at his business locations.

“Hundreds of people thanking me for having a place that’s still normal,” Oakes said.

People like Eileen Shane would rather shop without a mask.

“I’ve never worn one, and that’s why I’m supporting him,” Shane said. “Because at least he’s standing for the values.”

Oakes doesn’t believe masks reduce the spread of COVID-19.

”I do believe very much in our civil liberties,” Oakes said. “And once they walk into my store, they are in my private business.”

But some like John Snider say they shopped at Oakes businesses for the last time.

“It’s a safety issue, and I respect other people’s health,” Snider said. “My wife has some health issues. I don’t want to bring it home.”

Oakes feels much of the issues surroundings COVID-19 are blown out of proportion.

“The insanity of this to me is the mortality rate is going at the all-time low,” Oakes said.

We saw Collier County code enforcement in the parking lot at Oakes’ business Wednesday. We followed up to see if they wrote any tickets but haven’t gotten an answer yet.

When we asked Oakes if he was concerned about possible fines from the county, he gave a combative response.

“I guess they’ll have to keep writing papers,” Oakes said. “We’ll see them in court.”

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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