Dunkin Donuts and COVID

November 27th, 2021

UPDATE: Got COVID tested again today, last time was 3/31/2020. Negative then, likely will be again, but so much exposure when traveling, even masked and bottles of sanitizer, YUCK!

This below was sent to Dunkin Donuts after stopping at the shop in Edgerton, Wisconsin. Here’s their “COVID policies” regarding gloves and masking:


Pretty lame and not at all proactive precautions! So I sent this:

To your Public and Investor Relations shop:

I cannot find other direct emails, and I’m hoping your PR and investor departments would care about company policy in a pandemic. Your corporate lack of precautions has a negative impact on your company’s reputation.  I’ve sent a missive, I believe, to your Edgerton store through its webpage, but I’m not sure who exactly would receive it.

We traveled recently to Delaware from Minnesota to complete a house cleanout after sale, and we were fully vaccinated and always masked when outside of our vehicle.   On Friday, we’d stopped at the Dunkin in Edgerton, WI. We’d bought breakfast at Dunkin at least 4 times during our stay in Delaware (the one on College Ave. in Newark), and all the workers at the Dunkin shop in Delaware were masked.  We chose to stop at this one in Edgerton, WI after filling up. ERROR!

We’re from Minnesota, a state “competing” with Michigan for the highest rates of COVID in the U.S., and Wisconsin is sandwiched between the states.  I’m the one who for 20 months has been posting our county’s details from our state and county health departments on our Red Wing Area Corona Virus Support fb page, so I’m intimately acquainted with our state and county details. In our county of 46,340, as of yesterday’s report, we have 7,865 cumulative COVID cases and 96 deaths (https://www.facebook.com/groups/231815751283369). The Dunkin in Edgerton is in Rock County. Rock Co. thus far has had 24,485 cases in population of 163,354 and 259 deaths. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/county.htm#case%20death  Minnesota has dropped to #6, and Wisconsin has risen to #7 with a 5% increase in the last 14 days. Only 59% are fully vaccinated in Wisconsin.  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html

Edgerton’s Dunkin was very busy — it’s at a gas station with a convenience store, Dunkin, and Taco Johns.  We had to go inside, because we were pulling a trailer. It was crowded inside.  Not one employee was masked. The woman handling our food had gloves, per Dunkin policy, but those I saw making other food and drinks weren’t. Unmasked man on the register wiped his nose on hand and continued without sanitizing. Again, it was VERY crowded, very busy, and employees were struggling to keep up. While waiting, I asked the nearest employee why NO ONE was masked (Dunkin policy that those fully vaccinated need not wear masks is outdated given breakthrough cases and health guidance, EVERYONE SHOULD BE MASKED INSIDE). She said “it’s a personal choice.” Repeatedly, “it’s a personal choice.” I note she did not say “our company policy states fully vaccinated employees need not wear masks, and I’m fully vaccinated” She didn’t say whether she was fully vaccinated (given “personal choice” line, I’d bet not.). In a pandemic, a health emergency, it’s not “a personal choice.” Mandates in a health emergency are legitimate. See https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/197/11/

WEARING A MASK IN A PUBLIC SETTING, INSIDE, AND IN FOOD SERVICE IS NOT A PERSONAL CHOICE — IT IS A BASIC AND NECESSARY COVID SAFETY PRECAUTION. TO NOT BE MASKED, TO NOT REQUIRE MASKING IN YOUR STORES, IS IRRESPONSIBLE. Anyone on the front lines in COVID should be wearing a mask, regardless of their vaccination status. Menards, also a Wisconsin company, has been responsible about masking. You can and should also be responsible and protective of your employees and customers.

In food service, the priority is protection of essential employees and customers. Or it should be. Dunkin’s COVID policy is contributing to COVID spread, the numbers of illness, and death in Rock County and of those passing through.

Dunkin — a policy update is overdue.  MASK UP! UPDATE YOUR COMPANY POLICY NOW! (yes, I’m shouting, it’s important).

We’re getting COVID tested after our travels to assure we’re not infected and spreading COVID around. That’s the responsible thing to do, particularly after exposures such as what we experienced at Dunkin in Edgerton.

It’s your turn. Update your corporate company policy and require masking of all employees with exceptions for those with a legitimate medical reason not to wear masks.  Please take this pandemic seriously.

Thanks for your consideration,

Carol A. Overland

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