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H-E-B employee Nick Salas wears a protective mask, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, while working at H-E-B in San Marcos. Grocery store workers are now required to wear medical masks. What was once a suggestion is now something that has been mandated to slow the spread of COVID-19.

After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stay-at-home order March 31, many small businesses, local restaurants and shops had to temporarily close as they were deemed nonessential. However, for grocery store, convenience store and fast-food industry workers, spending weeks, even months, away from work was not an option.

While some could work from home or enjoy the benefits of paid time-off, essential workers had to make the difficult decision to put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19 and continue to provide not only for themselves but their community.

The University Star

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Necessary now, essential forever

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