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Vaccinated Hy-Vee customers won't need masks, but masks are still needed at Baker's
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Vaccinated Hy-Vee customers won't need masks, but masks are still needed at Baker's

In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.

Starting Tuesday, Hy-Vee grocery stores no longer will require fully vaccinated customers and employees to wear face coverings in its stores except where it’s required by local ordinances.

Baker’s Supermarkets, which are part of the Kroger chain, will, however, continue to require everyone in their stores to wear masks, according to a written statement from Kroger.

Hy-Vee joins other retailers, such as Target and Walmart, in announcing the move. Target said Monday that given the updated guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Target no longer will require fully vaccinated customers and workers to wear face coverings — again with the exception of where it’s required by local ordinances.

In Omaha, a mask mandate is in place until 11:59 p.m. May 25.

Face coverings continue to be strongly recommended for Hy-Vee customers who are not fully vaccinated, Hy-Vee said in a press release. Masks still are required by the company for employees who are not fully vaccinated.

Whether or not a customer has been vaccinated is on the honor system, a Hy-Vee spokeswoman said. Customers won’t need to show proof of vaccination.

Mask policy updates for retailers and grocery stores

Business Mask Policy
Hy-Vee Fully vaccinated customers and employees don't need to wear masks in stores except where required by local ordinances.
Baker's Everyone in their stores are required to wear masks. Kroger, Baker's parent company, is reviewing safety practices and the CDC’s latest guidance.
Target Fully vaccinated customers and workers don't need to wear masks except where required by local ordinances.
Walmart Fully vaccinated customers may shop without a mask.
Costco Fully vaccinated members and guests where the state or local jurisdiction doesn't have a mask mandate will be allowed to enter the stores without a face mask or face shield.
Starbucks Face coverings are optional for vaccinated customers unless local regulations require them.

Hy-Vee will keep its Plexiglas barriers at all staffed checkout stands, self-checkout stations, pharmacy counters, customer service counters and convenience store checkouts.

Hy-Vee announced several weeks ago that appointments no longer are required to receive free COVID-19 vaccine shots at Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations. Target is offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments at nearly all CVS pharmacies that are in Target stores.

Walmart on Friday said vaccinated customers may shop without a mask “and we will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs. We will update the signage in our facilities to reflect this.”

Walmart noted that “fully vaccinated” means it has been two weeks since a person has received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Masks also will continue to be required by some city and state ordinances, Walmart said, “and we will follow those requirements.”

Are you comfortable shopping without a mask?

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Costco says on its website that stores where the state or local jurisdiction doesn’t have a mask mandate, members and guests who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the stores without a face mask or face shield. “We will not require proof of vaccination,” Costco’s statement reads, “but we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy.” Face coverings still will be required in health care settings in Costco, including the pharmacy, optical and hearing aid areas.

“Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield,” the company said.

Starbucks announced that as of Monday, face coverings will be optional for vaccinated customers unless local regulations require them.

A Kroger spokeswoman said in an email that the company is “reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy.”


Omaha World-Herald: Live Well

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Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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