As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases have spiked over the last few weeks, hitting new records in major cities and states across the country, so have the number of face-covering mandates.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed press releases and safety policies of more than 50 national and large regional chains, including the 10 largest retailers in the U.S., to see which have issued, or will soon issue, face-covering directives.
Though many stores have already been open for weeks, some are just now updating their safety policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says masks help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Some stores have been holding out on requiring face masks partially because they don’t want to cause tension between customers and sales associates, who may be put in the position of enforcing the requirement.
Most stores have been requiring face masks for staff since they were allowed to reopen in May. After Walmart, the nation’s biggest retailer, announced shoppers will have to wear masks too on July 15, a flurry of companies followed suit, including Kroger and Kohl’s.
Coronavirus is surging across the country. Nearly 4 million people in the United States have tested positive for the disease as of July 22 and around 140,000 have died. These are the states where the virus is growing the fastest right now.