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CVS and Target join other major retailers in requiring masks in US stores

CVS and Target will require customers to wear masks in their stores across the United States as the retail industry moves to enforce mask mandates to slow th...

Posted: Jul 16, 2020 3:57 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2020 4:04 PM

CVS and Target will require customers to wear masks in their stores across the United States as the retail industry moves to enforce mask mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"We're joining others in taking the next step and requiring all customers to wear face coverings," CVS tweeted Thursday. The policy goes into effect Monday.

Target said in a statement it would start requiring masks or face coverings starting August 1 in all stores. "This builds on the more than 80% of our stores that already require guests to wear face coverings due to local and state regulations," it said.

Target said it would provide disposable masks at entrances to customers who don't have one.

The announcement came a day after Walmart, Kroger and Kohl's said that masks would be mandatory in all their stores and the National Retail Federation, the main lobbying group for the industry, called on retailers to require masks for customers. Best Buy announced Tuesday that it will require customers to wear masks.

These companies' measures go beyond US federal mandates on Covid-19 safety. Although no federal mandate to wear a mask exists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone "should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public." The CDC said that "face coverings are meant to protect other people."

Most major retailers and grocers have hesitated to enact their own mask mandates for customers during the pandemic, partly over fears of antagonizing shoppers who refuse to wear them. Retailers have said they are reluctant to put their employees in the position of enforcing mask requirements.

The ground has shifted for retailers in recent weeks as the pandemic's toll has gone up. More than 3 million people have now tested positive for coronavirus nationwide and more than 135,000 have died.

Cases are climbing in much of the country, and many cities and states are reimposing restrictions to contain new outbreaks, including mask requirements in public settings.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2012806

Reported Deaths: 51732
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings26711410025
Queens2656739604
Suffolk1945123323
Nassau1782353121
Bronx1760716405
New York1330424342
Westchester1262782246
Erie835241718
Richmond713901760
Monroe617161036
Orange46388782
Rockland45849946
Onondaga36254663
Dutchess28147438
Albany23800347
Oneida21556498
Niagara18486335
Broome17559348
Saratoga14517163
Ulster13159244
Schenectady12471193
Rensselaer10745136
Putnam1027491
Chautauqua8459137
Chemung7209133
Oswego703490
Ontario693992
Steuben6355142
St. Lawrence624695
Sullivan621070
Cayuga591590
Jefferson548765
Wayne530467
Cattaraugus521382
Genesee5102121
Herkimer4946107
Clinton458233
Madison432186
Fulton412288
Tompkins407749
Livingston403858
Montgomery3923117
Columbia3848100
Cortland356960
Tioga345058
Warren341856
Wyoming328251
Otsego322147
Allegany320483
Greene315674
Chenango313874
Washington287955
Orleans280183
Lewis248134
Franklin241312
Delaware219537
Seneca188956
Schoharie156816
Essex150826
Yates111226
Schuyler99314
Hamilton3012
Unassigned13864
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