An abrupt rest of mask policies has left workers at some grocery and retail stores reeling.
They are trying to sort out what the new environment means for their own safety and relationship with the consumers.
The country’s largest grocery chain, Kroger, became one of the most modern announce that. Starting Thursday, consumers and workers can stop using masks in states where commands are no longer in effect.
Other firms that have embraced similar reforms include Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Macy’s, Home Depot, Target, and Trader Joe’s. All these stores are doing so following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Some employees have taken the news to social media to cheer the action, but many have protested. Some don’t trust their co-workers or customers to be truthful about their vaccination. The reason being that most of the firms are not asking for proofs for the vaccination. Others fear that people will judge them if they leave their own mask on. Even though their reasons for wearing the mask still are varied.
CDC’s latest statement
The CDC last week said fully vaccinated people can stop wearing mask outdoors and in most indoor settings. Also, by fully vaccinated people, CDC’s guidance means the people who are two weeks past their second dose of vaccine. However, the guidance still calls for people who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing mask indoors. Also, everyone needs to wear masks in crowded indoor settings, like hospitals, buses, prison, planes, and homeless shelters.
That has left grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, and other employers scrambling to decide whether and how to adjust their policies. Some companies, including Macy’s and Trader Joe’s, are allowing vaccinated customers to drop their masks but not the employees.
Meanwhile, some grocery chains like Safeway are leaving their mask requirements in an intact place.
Some workers despair that they have been left to fall out in a confusing jumble of policies.
It is unclear if the relaxed mask restrictions will motivate unvaccinated workers to now get their shot. Some may feel at a more risk of contracting COVID, but others may believe that they can enjoy the same privileges. Because most of the companies are not asking for proofs whether one is fully vaccinated or not.