Hy-Vee remains off the growing list of grocery stores requiring customers to wear masks while shopping.
But in a press release Tuesday, the company announced that it will begin distributing more than 3 million free masks to customers starting Monday. The mask-giving but not mask-requiring initiative is called “Mask It Up To Shut COVID Down. It’s Your Choice.”
Employees will be stationed at the front doors of all stores to hand out masks to customers who are not wearing one before shopping. Customers will also see signage, employee attire and other reminders about the initiative.
Hy-Vee employees will continue to wear masks as they have been since nearly the beginning of the pandemic.
The list of grocery stores soon requiring masks includes Walmart, Bakers, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Publix.
Our best staff images from July 2020
The hat falls off of Five Points Bank's Danny Spongberg , left, after he tagged out KB Building Services' Cole Payton after Payton got picked off in the third inning during the American Legion Metro tournament final at Millard South on Friday, July 31, 2020. It was one of two pickoffs in the inning.
A bed of coneflowers attracts butterflies in a home garden in Omaha on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Jeromie Wade, of Omaha, gets a headshot taken by Lane Hickenbottom at Westroads Mall in Omaha on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Free headshots were offered for people experiencing unemployment during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as part of a national campaign. Wade has worked as an actor and a pharmacy technician. "I'm going to put out everywhere and whatever I get back, that's what I'll go with", Wade said.
Nancy Quine, of Omaha, picks up her pulled pork nachos with Bogey, a Yochon, on her lap, during a drive-thru barbecue tailgate for Union Omaha at Werner Park in Papillion on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The soccer team's inaugural home game is Saturday, Aug. 1.
Junub Char (center left) attempts a shot while friends defend at the Bryant Center in North Omaha on Monday, July 20, 2020.
Douglas County sheriff's deputies remove two protesters who interrupted Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert on Tuesday during a City Council meeting.
From top: Aiden Tupper, 12, picks ripe tomatoes with his siblings Janey, 15, Blythe, 6, and Ronan, 7, at their home on Friday, July 17, 2020.
A mallard duck swims across Zorinsky Lake with her ducklings in tow. Today’s weather forecast calls for a chance of a morning shower or thunderstorm and a high of 79. For more, see Page 6A.
A jogger crosses Leavenworth Street on Thursday morning. After this week’s cool-down, highs will top 90 today and approach 100 on Saturday.
The Union Omaha soccer team practices at Werner Park, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
Alex O'Hanlon waters plants at City Sprouts South near 20th and N Streets on Tuesday. O'Hanlon is the garden manager for that location.
People hold signs on Dodge Street after an Educators for Black Lives rally at Memorial Park on Friday, July 10, 2020.
A honeybee, possibly on the hunt for nectar, approaches the flower of a milkweed plant at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens. Tickets for the gardens are available online only, at
The Red Raiders' Caleb Lemon pitches against the Omaha Bombers during a Corn Belt League game at Seymour Smith Park on Thursday, July 09, 2020.
Fishing was comfortable Tuesday morning at Carter Lake, with temperatures in the 70s — on their way to the 90s for the 21st time since June 1. The 22nd came Wednesday.
Jackson Ulffers, left, and his brother Colton play street hockey near their northwest Omaha home on Tuesday.
Fourth of July fireworks 2020
William Mitchell, 4, front, reacts to the fireworks while watching with his brother, Wesley Mitchell, 4, and mom, Trish Mitchell, of Omaha, during the Independence Fireworks Spectacular at Werner Park in Papillion on Friday, July 03, 2020.
Fourth of July fireworks 2020
The Independence Fireworks Spectacular at Werner Park in Papillion on Friday, July 03, 2020.
Valerey Aparicio gets a lift from her brother Benjamin Aparicio through a wall of water during a hydrant party at 32nd and Cass in Omaha.
Jackie Sayasone gets ready to throw her bag during a game of cornhole at 1912, a rooftop bar in Benson.
Jackie Sayasone says she "kind of laughed at the sport before I came into it."