CLEVELAND, Ohio – Mask-wearing guidelines changed rapidly at the end of last week, with the CDC announcing Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans could go without masks indoors and outdoors in most situations . Ohio Governor Mike DeWine largely lifted the mask’s mandate for the vaccinated on Friday, saying they were only needed in crowded indoor environments.
Even with new guidelines in mind, it is at the discretion of private companies to require masks in stores. Some local and national retailers are relaxing their mask policies – or preparing to do so – while many others continue to evaluate.
Stores like Walmart and Costco have said they won’t verify whether customers who buy without a mask are vaccinated, and it remains unclear whether other stores relaxing their masking policies will have a verification system.
Take a look at the current state of Northeast Ohio businesses on Monday afternoon.
Companies relax mask policies
BJ Wholesale – The retailer says Fully vaccinated employees and buyers will not have to wear masks in-store, while employees and buyers who have not received a vaccine should still wear masks. The rule for buyers came into effect on Saturday, while the employee rule goes into effect on Tuesday.
Costco – This wholesale retailer said friday that it would no longer require masks for vaccinated customers, but that employees will not check to see if a buyer is vaccinated.
CVS – The pharmacy chain said monday that fully vaccinated customers did not need to wear masks in stores, unless national and / or local mask warrants were still in place. Employees will have to mask themselves at work.
Starbucks – The massive coffee chain said that as of Monday, May 17, fully immunized customers do not need to wear masks in stores unless state and / or local mandates require it.
Target – The distribution giant announced Monday that it would no longer be necessary for fully vaccinated staff or buyers to wear masks in stores, unless a national or local mask mandate is still in place.
“Face masks continue to be highly recommended for customers and team members who are not fully vaccinated and we are continuing our increased safety and cleaning measures, including social distancing, in all of our stores,” in part indicates a statement on Target’s website.
Trader Joe’s – The grocery chain was one of the first to announce its relaxed mask policy for customers following the CDC’s announcement on Thursday. Employees must always wear masks at work, a spokesperson said The hill.
Walmart – The country’s largest retailer announced is a policy change in a note to staff on Friday, the Washington Post reports. Walmart stores will follow national and local mask mandates, where applicable. Unvaccinated shoppers should continue to wear masks, although Walmart has not said how it will determine whether shoppers have received an injection. Wholesale retailer Sam’s Club falls under the umbrella of Walmart and will work with the same policy.
Companies are not (yet) relaxing their policies or no announcements have been made
- Discount pharmacy
- Giant eagle
- Home Depot
- Rite aid
- TJ Maxx
- Whole foods
This article will be updated with more companies / retailers if more or new information becomes available.
Learn more about cleveland.com:
CDC director says flipping masks is based purely on science
Ohio reports just 618 new coronavirus cases; smallest one-day increase since August: Sunday update
Governor Mike DeWine rejects federal unemployment aid, cutting an additional $ 300 a week from unemployed workers, starting June 26