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Retailers, states grapple with shifting COVID-19 mask mandates

Major retailers across the country, including Target, Starbucks, and Walmart, are changing their in-store mask requirements following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) announcement last week that fully vaccinated Americans are now safe to resume almost all activities without wearing a mask. Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe's have all said they will require masks for fully vaccinated patrons only if local law dictates it. Today Target and CVS said they will 'strongly recommend' masks for unvaccinated customers and employees, but fully vaccinated shoppers are not expected to don masks. All businesses, however, have emphasized that they will follow local laws and regulations. Despite the new guidance from the CDC that vaccinated people don't need to wear masks for most activities, many vaccinated Americans remain reluctant to give up their masks, the Associated Press reports. The mask has acted as both a security measure and was a visible way to signal that a person took the pandemic seriously. As of yesterday, 18 states have lifted statewide mask mandates, meaning about one third of the country is now mask-free for the first time in roughly 1 year.

CIDRAP - May 17, 2021

View the full story here: https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/05/retailers-states-grapple-shifting-covid-19-mask-mandates