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Mega Retail Chains Bring Back Mask Mandates As Covid Cases Spike

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Almost all the major retailers are reviewing their mask mandates and asking both employees and customers to wear masks in the red zoned counties as marked by the Center for Disease and Prevention in the United States.

The CDC has updated their mask guidelines and as the seven-day average of infection has already crossed the numbers during the peak, last year, the body is strongly recommending everyone to wear masks outside and in any closed space regardless of their vaccination statuses.

The health watchdog has already announced this variant to be more contagious than chickenpox and it also stays effective in the human body for longer. Almost all the major retail chains are updating their mask protocols to stay in line with the government.

Walmart was the first one to make it mandatory for the employees to wear masks and all the rest of the big box companies have followed suit.

Target: On August 2, Target Corporation (TGT) said it will be mandatory for the employees to wear masks from Tuesday. The visitors will also be encouraged to wear masks.

The company released a statement saying, "Effective Tuesday, based on the CDC's updated guidance, we'll require face coverings for our team members and strongly recommend face coverings for all guests in areas with a substantial or high risk of transmission, as defined by the CDC. We'll follow all local mandates, as we have throughout the pandemic, and continue to monitor guidance from the CDC closely."

While Walmart is giving monetary compensations to those who are getting jabbed, Target has announced that it will offer vaccination options at all CVS outlets in Target facilities. For others, the company will allow paid leave time and free Lyft rides to encourage the vaccination drive.

Home Depot: Another retail chain to reintroduce the mask mandate is The Home Depot (HD). While both Walmart and Target have made it mandatory for only the workers to wear masks, Home Depot has gone one step further to apply it on shoppers as well. In case someone does not have one, the chain will have masks to provide them with one in the facility

The company has asked all its workers, including the vendors to wear masks in outlets as well as customers' homes

Kroger: The Kansas-based Kroger Grocery Company (KR) released a statement on August 2 saying, "Based on the CDC's science-based guidance and our associates' input, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect. Our current mask guidance requires unvaccinated associates to wear masks and requests that unvaccinated customers wear masks in our stores and facilities. In light of the Delta variant and updated CDC recommendations, we strongly encourage all individuals, including those vaccinated, to wear a mask when in our stores and facilities."

Kroger is also offering $100 to the employees who will take the jab.

Kohl's: Kohl's Corporation (KSS) has released a statement in similar lines. The company has pointed that it will be abiding by the mandates of the CDC.

The statement read, "Based on the CDC's science-based guidance and our associates' input, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect. Our current mask guidance requires unvaccinated associates to wear masks and requests that unvaccinated customers wear masks in our stores and facilities. In light of the Delta variant and updated CDC recommendations, we strongly encourage all individuals, including those vaccinated, to wear a mask when in our stores and facilities."

Great Eagles: Giant Eagles are the only company on the list to not make the mandate effective as of now. The employees and customers will have to wear masks from Friday onwards to abide by the regulations by the health department.

The company statement read, "As the company witnesses increases in positive COVID-19 cases across its communities and the country, Giant Eagle is reinstituting the wearing of face masks, cloth face coverings or face shields … inclusive of all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals."

Publix: Retail and pharmacy chain, Publix made it mandatory for both the employees and the customers to wear masks. The chain, similar to Home Depot, will have employees hand out masks to those who don't have one.

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