DAVIS (CBS13) — A convenience store in Davis is demanding staff from the next door nursing home keep out. Four signs that read “Courtyard staff – do not enter” are covering the doors and windows at the Quick Shop Market on E 8th Street.
A market employee who did not want to be identified says they posted the signs because they’re concerned about the nursing home’s exposure to the coronavirus. Courtyard Health Care Center in Davis has had 11 cases of COVID-19.
Yolo County confirms none of the cases are current, but the market next door is refusing to allow the health care workers inside anyway.
“I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I also think everyone has a right to protect their own health,” Min Kim said.
Some regulars disagree.
”I looked at the sign and I thought, ‘Man this is really disrespectful to all frontline workers,’” Mike Curro said. “I can’t even imagine not being able to come next door and just get a drink.”
Curro’s daughter is a nurse in San Francisco.
“When I told her about this she goes, ‘This is unbelievable,'” Curro said.
Law professor John Myers says it’s unclear if it’s legal to ban these health care workers.
“This is one of those questions that we are facing maybe for the first time in the era of COVID-19,” Myers said.
Myers says it’s an unprecedented pandemic with no legal precedents.
“If you discriminate in public accommodations on the basis of a prohibited classification you can be sued,” Myers said. “But there’s nothing that I can find in the law that says a store cannot refuse service on the basis of its fear of a pandemic.”
Classes currently protected against discrimination include race, religion, sex, and national origin. Myers says it may change in the near future.
“Legislative bodies locally and state will have to address it,” he said.
But, Myers added that this could be a slippery slope. If a convenience store can do this, what’s to stop a major grocery store from keeping out healthcare workers?
CBS13 did reach out to the nursing home they didn’t address the issue directly but did say they’re proud of their employees.