Kroger, one of the largest supermarkets in Texas, said it will continue to require customers and employees to wear masks in its stores until all of its employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Texas government Greg Abbott has rescinded statewide masks mandate and removed other work restrictions related to the virus.
“As employers, supermarket providers, health care providers and community partners, we have a responsibility to help ensure the safety of employees, customers, patients and the community,” Kroger said in a statement Wednesday.
Kroger has partnered with national retailer Target and small independent stores Favor the Kind and The Toy Maven in Dallas to enforce mask requirements. The Texas mask order was canceled on March 10.
“We still need masks to shop at Favor the Kind,” said Carly Seal, a Henderson Street owner who has two stores in Houston and Colorado. “We care deeply about our customers, our employees and our families, and we will stop now.”
Hill said he will wait for further deployment of vaccines and “has a better understanding of the COVID-19 variant before letting go of the guards. My office workers are 100% behind me.”
Candice Williams, owner of Toy Maven stores in Dallas and South Lake, said she is unhappy with Abbott’s decision and will continue to order masks from her stores and provide roadside assistance.
“Most of my employees have not been vaccinated and some young employees have potential health problems,” Williams said. She and the other retailers said they are concerned that if the state’s mask requirements are not met, these conflicts will reoccur and be furthered.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Williams said, there were frequent conflicts between employees and customers who didn’t want to wear masks. He said that number has dropped to a maximum of once a week in recent weeks.
He said, “I think the company needs to be back at the forefront of the social and political debate in order to continue to operate. This is just one goal of the organization.”
Costco also informed its Texas employees on Wednesday, asking customers to request continued use of masks in its stores. The Dallas Market Center is a wholesale market, with thousands of buyers attending the event, and wholesale market buildings will also require masks.
Kendra Scott, founder of the jewelry brand, was one of two retailers on Abbott’s business advisory committee last year. “Scott has not been consulted on this decision and the working group is inactive,” said a spokeswoman.
The retailer, who primarily runs convenience stores, said he is reviewing the limits of lifting capacity and obscuring Abbott’s instructions. “We study the safety of our customers and our communities, and carefully evaluate the safety practices that best serve the Kendra Scott family,” the company said.
Walmart hasn’t disclosed what it plans to do, but last year it asked for masks nationwide. State supermarkets, including H-E-B, Albertsons and Tom Thumb, said on Tuesday that Abbott announced it will continue to require employees and suppliers to wear masks, but not customers.
The Dallas District Chamber of Commerce said in a statement Wednesday that 80% of D-FW residents have not yet received the vaccine.
“While we encourage the recent decline in the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in the Dallas area, low hospital admissions and declining deaths, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still present,” said the Chamber of Commerce statement. .
He continued, “Before the vast majority of people in our community are safely vaccinated, it is important that we remain vigilant to protect ourselves, others and our community from the virus.” Many people are still at risk in the hospital, and the Corona virus has not yet been eradicated. ”
Kroger stated that it “will continue to follow the health and safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other major medical institutions, and will require all employees and customers who work and visit our stores to wear a mask. in 2020. Implemented in July 2015. ”
People who cannot wear masks can still shop at the Kroger and offer assembly and delivery services.
Kroger’s decision is nationwide, and the retailer said it will continue to enforce mask requirements until all employees are hired.