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Tri-State Outfitters in Moscow closes after group of mask-less customers enter

| December 11, 2020 3:40 PM

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — An outdoors store in northern Idaho temporarily closed after 25 to 30 customers entered and refused to put on masks when asked by the store's staff.

Tri-State Outfitters in Moscow, Idaho, closed for several hours on Thursday after an organized group of mask-less customers entered, company President and CEO Joe Power said.

Power said the mask-less customers were motivated by a post from conservative local Pastor Doug Wilson to a private group called “De-Mask Moscow.”

Wilson told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News on Thursday night that he encouraged people to shop at Tri-State Outfitters because he heard Tri-State Outfitters was facing business challenges.

To defuse the situation Thursday, store manager Jennifer Laferriere, with direction from Power, announced over the store’s intercom that Tri-State Outfitters was temporarily closing.

Although the store closed to all customers for about half an hour starting around 11:20 a.m., the front doors remained locked until 3 p.m. and employees stood at the door allowing only masked customers inside.

Power said he cares about the health of employees and customers more than financial profit.

The mask-less customers do not understand that Tri-State Outfitters stores have been devastated with sick and quarantined employees from COVID-19, Power said.