Walgreens joins retailers requiring masks in stores
Deerfield-based drugstore chain Walgreens Friday joined a list of national retailers that are requiring customers to wear face masks in all of its stores due to a surge in new coronavirus cases across the country.
Starting Monday, all 9,277 Walgreens stores throughout the U.S. will require customers to wear face masks in the store, the company said in a statement. While thousands of Walgreens are already requiring masks in states and cities where it has been mandated, officials said requiring face masks in all stores nationwide furthers "the company's commitment to health and well-being in communities across America.
"We know that face covers can play a vital role in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Kevin Ban, Walgreens chief medical officer. "As cases continue to rise in many parts of the country, it's critical we, as businesses and members of the community, do everything we can to support recommendations of health officials, both locally and nationally."
Walgreens will add more information signs on exterior doors, officials said, and stores will increase the frequency of reminders to customers over intercoms.
Walgreens joins retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Kohl's, Kroger and rival drugstore chain CVS, in requiring customers to wear face masks while shopping in stores.
The actions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge upward across the U.S. -- primarily in the South and West -- with more than 133,000 deaths attributed to the disease. Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommend wearing masks as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, however federal, state and local policies regarding mask use have been inconsistent.