While mask are required in enclosed public spaces in Michigan, several retailers are now making them mandatory in all of their stores nationwide.

Home Depot and Lowes are the latest to announce mandatory mask polices, Wood TV 8 reports.

Home Depot will require masks in all stores starting July 22. Small children or those who have a valid medical condition will not be required to wear a mask.

Ann-Marie Campbell, executive vice president of stores for The Home Depot said in a release,

“We appreciate all of our associates who have been working so hard to serve our customers with the essential products they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to thank our customers for their cooperation as we work to protect everyone in our stores."

Lowe's mandatory mask policy goes into effect July 20.  Lowe's will offer free masks at the customer service desk of every store for customers who need them, while supplies last.

Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe's president and CEO said in a release,

"As a retailer offering essential goods, we have a responsibility to our associates, customers and small businesses in communities nationwide to help provide a safe shopping experience. Throughout this pandemic, our associates have worked tirelessly so customers could get the goods and services they needed for their homes and small businesses. For the safety of everyone in our stores, we ask that customers wear masks, and to make this new standard less restrictive, we will make masks available to those who need them."

The home improvement stores join the below retailers in requiring masks:

  • Meijer (effective July 20)
  • Target (effective August 1)
  • Kohl's (effective July 20)
  • Best Buy (effective as of July 15)
  • Sam's Club and Walmart (effective July 20)
  • Starbucks (effective as of July 15)
  • Menards (effective as of May 4)
  • Costco (effective as of May 4)
  • Kroger (effective July 22)
  • CVS (effective July 20)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently updated Michigan's mask policy, clarifying that businesses aren’t allowed to just assume customers without a face mask aren’t wearing them because they medically cannot tolerate a face covering. That means that if you walk into a store without a face mask on you will be questioned, but stores will still be able to accept a customer's verbal response that they can’t wear a mask.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

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