The United States is seeing another spike in hospitalized COVID-19 cases, and, as such, mask policies are changing once again. Many of our industry’s leading retailers have released official statements on the matter, including Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Target, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
“We remain focused on guidance issued by health experts, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local health departments. We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately,” Walmart stated in a recent release in which it urged its shoppers and associates to get vaccinated.
In addition, the retailer noted it will be paying associates in stores, clubs, transportation offices, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers to receive the vaccine, doubling the incentive amount to $150.
Kroger also issued a statement reinforcing its mask policy and offering its associates a $100 payment to receive the recommended doses of the vaccines.
“Based on the CDC’s science-based guidance and the input of our associates, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect,” the statement read. “Our current mask guidance requires unvaccinated associates to wear masks and requests that unvaccinated customers wear masks when in our stores and facilities. In light of the Delta variant and updated CDC recommendations, we strongly encourage all individuals, including those who are vaccinated, to wear a mask when in our stores and facilities. We will continue to abide by all state and local mandates and encourage all Americans to get vaccinated, including our associates.”
Other retailers making updates to their current policies include Target, Publix, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
In a recent statement, Target stated, “Based on the CDC’s updated guidance, we require face coverings for our team members and strongly recommend face coverings for all guests in areas with substantial or high risk of transmission, as defined by the CDC.”
BJ’s Wholesale Club stated that all BJ’s team members will be required to wear face coverings in areas with substantial or high transmission as defined by the CDC regardless of vaccination status beginning on August 2. Also effective August 2, Publix will require all associates to wear face coverings while inside any Publix location, regardless of vaccination status.
As more mask policy changes arise at retail, Deli Market News will be sure to keep you in the loop.