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DES MOINES, Iowa — Major retailers like Target, Walmart and Costco are now requiring shoppers to wear face masks. Some locally owned stores are urging their customers to use face masks without making it a requirement.

“They’re definitely not required to wear masks, but they are recommended to. It’s up to how they feel, but we all wear masks as well,” said Kelsi Thrap, manager at the Royal Mile.

Just like there isn’t a statewide mask mandate, some local stores are not requiring their customers to wear a face mask. Other stores are encouraging it.

“When they come in to dine in, or delivery, or a carryout order here from Fong’s downtown, if they mention the ‘ninja discount’ and they’re wearing their mask and encouraging that initiative, they’ll receive 10% off of their order,” said Fong’s Pizza president & co-founder Gwen Page.

Because the virus is transmitted through droplets in saliva, a local infectious disease doctor said requiring people to wear face coverings is a necessary step.

“In a restaurant when you’re talking at a normal voice, without a mask, you’re still close enough. Especially if somebody’s standing and you’re sitting, you’re really in that perfect range to be able to get infected if somebody is not wearing a mask,” Dr. Megan Srinivas said.

She says businesses are at a greater risk for closing again if they don’t take the warning seriously.

“I know our governor has said that she would not take that action again, regardless of what happens with the trajectory. We also heard that with Florida and with Texas, and now they’ve done that,” Dr. Srinivas said.

It’s something Fong’s Pizza worries about as well.

“You can’t live your life in fear, but you can live your life with a sense of kindness and thinking about other people and this is just a small gesture to express that.  Be kind, be smart, have a heart, wear a mask,” Page said.

The Fong’s “ninja discount” is only available at its location downtown through the end of July.