Kroger Inc. has announced they will require shoppers to wear masks in store beginning Wednesday, July 22nd. Kroger, the nations largest grocery chain, also owns the Smiths brand. They are following suit with Walmart who made a similar announcement earlier this morning. A statement issued early Wednesday evening by a Kroger spokesperson cites the CDC as saying masks, combined with social distancing and frequent hand-washing, can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Full Statement from Smiths:
With the increase in COVID-19 cases across the country—as America’s grocer—we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Kroger’s most urgent priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, ecommerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials.
As an employer, grocery provider and community partner, we have a responsibility to help keep our associates, customers and communities safe. According to the CDC, wearing a facial covering, combined with social distancing and frequent handwashing, has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks. We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country.
We respect and acknowledge that some customers, due to medical reasons, may not be able to wear a mask (small children are exempt). We encourage those customers to consider an alternative option like a face shield or facial covering. If they’re unable to wear a mask or an alternative design, we request that they use our ecommerce services like pickup or delivery. To support all households during the COVID-19 pandemic, our grocery pickup service remains free (generally a $4.95 fee).
We thank our associates and customers for partnering with us to slow down the spread of COVID-19.