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Going shopping? Where you will be required to wear a face covering

Going shopping? Where you will be required to wear a face covering

Mitch Hooper

As May 1 brings in the beginnings of the revised orders of social distancing and shelter-at-home, face masks are again at the center of discussion. While some stores begin to reopen and employees are still required to wear face masks, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has altered his original message where face masks are now “highly recommended” instead of required for every day folks.

So what does this mean for your trips to the grocery store? We did some research, and it looks like grocers are taking a similar approach to Gov. DeWine; PPE for every day people going about their lives is not required, but it is strongly encouraged. Below you’ll find how Kroger, Giant Eagle, Costco, and Meijer are handling this situation.

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As of the time this article was written, Kroger is not requiring customers to wear face masks or gloves in its stores. However Kroger is “encouraging customers to wear a mask when they visit our stores, or alternatively, consider one of our ecommerce options available,” per its website. Its employees will be wearing personal protective equipment as well as cashiers working behind a plexiglass window at check-out lanes.

On the other hand, Costco is requiring everyone—customers, employees, and all the rest—to wear face masks starting May 4, per USA Today. The company will also return to normal business hours starting the same day. Craig Jelinek, President and CEO of Costco, said this is “the right thing to do under the current circumstances.”

“Although some may disagree with this policy or question its effectiveness, we’re choosing to err on the side of safety in our shopping environments,” Jelinek said in a press release. “Costco has continued to operate during this crisis as an essential business in all of our communities, and our employees are on the front lines. As part of a community, we believe this simple act of safety and courtesy is one that Costco members and employees can undertake together.”

Giant Eagle is asking customers to wear both gloves and a face mask while browsing the store, but not requiring it. Its employees will also be wearing face masks and gloves. Additionally, it has implemented one-way aisles, plexiglass barriers at check-out lanes, and six-foot distance markers.

Meijer is officially requiring all employees across its stores to wear a face mask and gloves while working. This PPE will be provided by the stores daily to ensure they are clean. Rick Keyes, CEO of Meijer, is encouraging customers take similar precautions when shopping.

“While some of our stores have already been operating with mandatory mask requirements, we are now requiring all team members, vendors and contractors to wear a mask or facial covering while working at Meijer,” Keyes said in a statement on Meijer’s website. “We also encourage our customers to do the same when you shop in our stores. This aligns with current guidance from the CDC and helps ensure we are all doing our part to help flatten the curve.”

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