Home Depot Joins Stores Needing Face Cover

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Another retail heavyweight weighs on the problem of wearing the national mask: The Home Depot will now require all buyers to wear them.

The home improvement retailer said Friday that customers must wear masks in all US stores starting Wednesday, July 22. However, young children and those with a valid medical condition will not have to wear them. Customers who do not wear masks due to a health problem are asked to speak to an associate before entering the store, the company said.

The Home Depot joins a large number of retailers, including Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens, ready to impose masks in stores across the country, as cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, continue to increase at United States.

The requirement for masks and face covers has become a hot button nationwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend them as a way to prevent the spread of the virus, but some see mask warrants as a violation of their constitutional rights.

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As states began to reopen and ease the demands for social distancing, the wearing of masks in public led to violent clashes in stores. As the state and cities adopt different mask regulations, retailers have started to take the initiative to make the mask mandatory in their locations nationwide.

The Home Depot is headquartered in Atlanta, which is the zero point for a national debate on mask mandates. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp sued Atlanta city council and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Thursday for forcing citizens to wear masks in public.

The retailer says that about 85% of its stores already require customers to wear face masks due to local and national regulations. Home Depot employees are already wearing masks in stores, distribution centers and other locations, the company said.

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In the stores, social distancing is promoted by audio announcements, floor markings and signs; Plexiglas screens protect employees and buyers.

“We appreciate all of our associates who have worked so hard to serve our customers with the essentials they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we would like to thank our customers for their cooperation as we work to protect everyone in our stores, ”said Ann-Marie Campbell, executive vice president of Home Depot stores, in a statement.

Store employees will provide masks to incoming shoppers who don’t have masks, and for those who prefer, the store offers home delivery and curbside pickup via its HomeDepot.com website.

Contributeurs: Kelly Tyko, Jessica Flores, Joel Shannon

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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