Effective on Monday, November 16th, Costco will be enforcing a new mask policy in their warehouse stores.
The wholesale retailer just announced the change via a letter from CEO Craig Jelinek amid a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
“Costco has had a face mask policy in effect since May 4, 2020, but members who could not wear a mask due to a medical condition were exempt. This is no longer the case,” Jelinek wrote in a November 10th memo. “If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco.”
The new face shield requirement comes as the U.S. set a new record of 180,000 cases in a single day this week, along with 1,400 deaths on Friday. Many health experts warn that the worst of the virus is still ahead of us.
Costco’s decision was met with both support and ire on social media platforms like Twitter.
“So grateful to Costco for doing this…,” wrote one Twitter user. “FINALLY! STORES ARE GETTING IT!” wrote another.
Others argued that the new strict rule was an “infringement” on their rights, as well as an inconvenience for parents of young children (the law for mask wearing in many states is under 3 years old).
“Children 3 and under are so hard to get to wear masks,” wrote one Twitter user. “Whoever made this decision obviously doesn’t have a two year old,” wrote another.
“You’ll never see me again unless your company drops this policy,” a user posted on the group “No Mask Omaha,” as captured on Twitter:
In his letter, Jelinek acknowledged that some customers may find the new policy a nuisance, but it is a necessary for public health nonetheless.
“This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” he stated. “Our goal is to continue to provide a safe shopping environment for our members and guests, and to provide a safe work environment for our employees.”