Report: Walmart, Other Stores To Allow People Refusing Masks To Shop Out Of Concern For Employees

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Image credit to Wikimedia Commons. Image modified from original.

After multiple violent and even relentless incidents involving people refusing to wear masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several big retailers are instructing staff to still serve people who don’t want to wear masks out of concern for the safety of the employees.

According to CNN, Walmart, CVS, Lowe’s, Walgreen, and Home Depot are among the major retail chains who announced to still serve customers who defy wearing masks to avoid confrontation between shoppers and employees.

The chain stores ought to formulate a policy on wearing masks in stores in the 20 States for the safety and health of their workers, especially on staff with lower compensation.

With no active federal policy in place, the Retails Industry Leaders Association asked the state government to develop a “Uniform Approach” that might avoid conflict from taking the right approach against fighting the COVID-19.

Some believe allowing people to go shopping without masks opposes the definition of mask policy and will make everyone feel exposed and unsafe in the store.

“Either security or management needs to tell people that they must wear a face mask in order to be served. It’s no different than wearing shoes or a shirt,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union told CNN. “(Companies who) are not requiring customers to wear a mask within their store, then they never had a requirement. All they had was a public relations stunt.”

A training video of Walmart shows a black polo t-shirt clad employee greeting customers at the gate, allowing people without masks to enter the stores before notifying the management.

If a customer refuses to wear a mask, let them continue shopping – according to the talking points obtained by CNN from Walmart.

“With every requirement, there are exceptions that have been established to avoid escalating the situation and putting our associates in harm’s way,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. “Our goal is to keep associates from a physical confrontation in the stores.”

Home Depot, Lowe’s, CVS are also allowing the customers without masks so that they can ensure the safety of their employees.

Recently, more than 20 states have issued orders of requiring people to wear masks as the COVID-19 cases increase to the record height.

If more Americans cove up their faces with masks to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a huge number of deaths could be prevented in the future – based on the research done on the predictive model.

The list of states with mask mandates includes California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Two of the worst-hit states, Florida and Arizona, still have no formal state-wide mandate, leaving the entire matter up the cities and counties.

The problem is some of the state-wide mandates have become a target of legal challenges. Wearing of face mask is a divisive topic in the US where politicians and interest groups are using the issues to form the attacks for opponents.

A Kentucky judge has recently issued a new ruling that would oppose and limit Govt. Andy Beshear’s ability to use emergency order to fight against the pandemic. Beshear has again issued an order of requiring a face mask in public.

“Beshear said the ruling would not prevent him from proceeding with the mask order,” NPR member station WFPL reported.

Beshear and other governors who have taken the side of the mask-wearing mandate have said that it would be the best way to prevent another near-total shutdown that has already closed many businesses and left a lot of people out of their jobs.

“It is important that we wear face coverings as people begin to interact more and more,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills said this week. “Doing so can slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health and safety of those around us, support businesses, and allow us to safely reopen our economy.”

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has sought to persuade Nevadans to follow his order of mask-wearing by showing a hypothetical scenario, “If back in March before we shut down the vast majority of our economy, I said to you: We can keep our economy open if everyone agrees to wear masks and maintain 6 feet in person-to-person distance. Who would have not accepted that offer?”





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