Businesses try to keep up with demand for masks

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COLUMBIA - People have been busy buying masks to prepare for the mask ordinance taking effect Friday, and businesses are trying to keep up.

"Everyday this week it has been busier and busier," Embroider It co-owner Julie Cordia said.

After Columbia City Council passed an emergency mask ordinance, Cordia says masks are selling out left and right.

"We were selling a lot of masks before, since then we have had more customers coming in to buy several because they know they're going to need them everyday," she said.

At first, Cordia says they were supplying most of their masks to essential personnel, but has since added supplying masks for everyday citizens.

Cordia says her customers went from wanting and kind of mask to now wanting more personalized masks.

"Now they are making more practical masks, more comfortable masks, and some are more affordable," she said.

Embroider It has a variety of different types of masks that include locally-made masks, USA-made masks, disposable masks, wicking masks, cotton masks, and KN95 masks. Cordia says the masks range anywhere from $5 to the most expensive mask being $13.98.

Cordia says Embroider It has been able to keep up with the increased demand for the most part, but that locally-made masks are the hardest to keep in stock. 

"It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to make one of those. So, they can't make them as fast as you can get from a factory that's already set up to make something out of fabric," she said.

Various drug stores are also selling masks. D&H Drugstore has disposable and reusable masks that range from $6.50 to $12. Walgreens also has a pack of 20 disposable masks for $15.99. Both D&H Drugstore and Walgreens have limits on how many packs customers can purchase.

Cordia says she expects to see a steady increase in customers today and tomorrow leading up to the start of the mask ordinance.

The emergency mask ordinance goes into effect Friday, July 10, at 5 p.m.

For the full ordinance, click here to view.