Customers “Strongly Encouraged” To Wear Face Coverings
From the Editor, 8/8/21
Two major grocery store chains, and our hometown grocery store, Giant in Wellsville and Cuba, have again required all employees to wear a face mask, regardless of vaccination. The retail operations are often called “Supermarkets,” for good reason, they have lots of goods for sale and lots of people under one roof. In modern times they have become a community hub where people like me go as part of a daily routine. These stores probably have more human traffic than any other, which also means more virus traffic.
‘Hub,’ being the operative word, as managers of grocery stores all over Western New York have had the unpleasant task of telling staff that face masks are once again required. Wegmans, the powerhouse of grocery stores up and down the east coast, issued the first mask requirements for employees on duty. That policy was accompanied by a statement by Wegmans:
“After reviewing the updated guidance from the CDC and state and local health departments, we strongly encourage all customers, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask while shopping with us. Where mandated at the state or local level, customers are required to wear a face mask. All employees are required to wear a face mask in our stores.”
As of Friday June 6th all employees of Tops Markets and Giant Food locations were required to wear masks while on the job. Tops issued a statement:
“The health and safety of our associates, as well as that of our customers, is at the core of every decision. Throughout the pandemic, we have been closely monitoring local, state and CDC guidance. The CDC is again recommending wearing face coverings in public settings, including grocery stores, to help curb the spread of the virus. Starting this Friday, August 6, all associates, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear face coverings while working in our stores. At this time, our current policy for customers will remain unchanged. Those customers that are fully vaccinated will have the option to wear a face covering. Unvaccinated customers must wear a face covering while shopping in our stores. This includes all individuals age two or over that are able to medically tolerate a face covering.“
A quick talk with a manager at Giant Food in Wellsville revealed a common-sense reason that stores have gone back to requiring masks:
“We want the store to be safe for everyone, and for everyone to feel safe shopping here and our valued employees to feel safe at work.”
Welcome back to the new normal.