Major corporations in Texas and Mississippi are reassuring their customers they will continue to enforce mask mandates and other CDC guidelines in reaction to the state governors’ recent announcements.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott led the way, and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves followed soon after, by repealing state-wide mask mandates and lifting lockdown orders on Tuesday. The new state guideliness give businesses the green light to return to 100% capacity.
The following 13 major corporations have already released statements or responded to inquiries that confirm their mask mandates and other coronavirus guidelines will continue to be in force despite states lifting their lockdown orders.
“Target will continue requiring guests to wear masks in all of its stores, the company’s spokesman said, adding that the big-box retailer also required all store team members to wear masks at work, and provided them with reusable and disposable masks,” Fox Business reported.
Starbucks will continue to enforce a storewide mask mandate, WSJ reported.
“The company is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Starbucks said in its July statement.
“Department store operator Macy’s said its policy of needing customers and workers to wear masks in stores was going to remain unchanged,” Fox Business reported.
“Relaxing common-sense safety protocols like wearing masks is a mistake,” said Jason Brewer, vice president of Communications and State Affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. Brewer added that undoing the policies would “unfairly put retail employees back in the role of enforcing guidelines still recommended by the CDC and other public health advocates.”
“Japanese carmaker Toyota, which has its U.S. headquarters and a factory in Texas, said it was looking into the move by Governor Greg Abbott to roll back the mask mandate and it doesn’t contemplate any immediate changes,” Fox Business reported.
Hyatt, which was recently embarrassed by issuing a statement condemning a fake CPAC scandal, will also continue the hotel chainwide mask mandate, WSJ reported.
“CVS, which began mandating masks at all stores nationwide in July as more scientific data emerged showing that face coverings help slow the virus’s spread, will continue to require them, a spokesman said,” WSJ reported. “He said CVS will continue to follow federal health guidelines.”
Walgreens will continue to mandate masks, the company said.
“America’s largest theater chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., AMC has had all its Texas theaters open since last year. The company will continue to require consumers to wear masks,” WSJ reported.
“GM, which employs about 13,500 people in Texas, said it would also maintain status quo in the state, with regards to its employees wearing masks,” Fox Business reported.
“We’ll keep our COVID-19 safety protocols in place to ensure we continue to protect our employees,” GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey said.
“Alamo Drafthouse’s mandatory mask policy remains in place, as well as our 6′ social distancing protocols, and all of the other safety measures we’ve had in place across the country since last year,” the company said Tuesday.
In related news, the New York Post reported that “Alamo Drafthouse revealed it is selling itself as the dine-in cinema chain filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday — and one of its new co-owners is a private-equity firm that has been engulfed in a child-abuse scandal.”
“ALDI will continue requiring customers to wear face masks inside its stores,” a company spokesperson said.
ALDI released a statement that said, in part:
“For the health and well-being of the communities we serve and for the protection of our employees, we will maintain our current nationwide policy requiring all employees and customers to wear a face covering when shopping in our stores. We will continue to assess any new guidelines issued by the CDC, and will keep our customers informed of any future changes.”
“H-E-B and Central Market will continue requiring masks of employees while “urging” customers to wear them,” ABC reported.
“Although there is no longer a statewide mask order, H-E-B believes it is important that masks be worn in public spaces until more Texans and our Partners have access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” the company’s statement read. “As an essential service provider during the pandemic, H-E-B is focused on the health and safety of our Partners and customers. H-E-B will still require all our Partners and vendors to wear masks while at work, and we urge all customers to please wear a mask when in our stores.”
“Masks are required at Kroger grocery stores, according to Kroger Dallas Division corporate affairs manager April Martin,” ABC reported.
“To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies will continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Martin said.
It will be interesting to see how long these business maintain their guidelines, as the coronavirus pandemic situation improves, due to natural cycles for such viruses, as well as millions taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
A number of their business competitors are eager to return to normal. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “gym operator Life Time Fitness Inc., Albertsons Cos. and a number of local restaurants plan to stop mandating masks or return to normal capacity, or both.”
Not every Texas and Mississippi business is going to be willing to “get Woke, go broke.”