FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — At midnight, Indiana lift its COVID-19 restrictions and changes its mask mandate to a mask advisory. But will this be the end of masks?
Many businesses are saying don’t throw away your masks just yet. Though the governor has made wearing a mask an option many stores, restaurants and other businesses are still requiring them.
Governor Eric Holcomb made the announcement last week, stating a decline in coronavirus hospitalization and the growing number of people vaccinated. This means each establishment can decide whether they want employees and customers can wear masks.
Businesses who spoke with WANE 15 say they are airing on the side of caution. Every grocery store WANE talked to said it will also be required masks.
In a statement to WANE 15 Walmart said quote,
“We serve millions of Americans every week and believe our policy of requiring associates and customers to wear masks in our stores has helped protect them during the pandemic and we’re not lifting those measures at this time. We are constantly evaluating our COVID-related health and safety protocols, including state executive orders and other mandate changes. We will continue to do so, keeping CDC guidance and local COVID statistics in mind.”Casey Staheli Senior Manger, National Media Relations, Walmart
Walgreen is also not changing their policies citing CDC guidelines.
“Our policy is not changing. We require team members in our stores to wear face covers, and continue to take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, and public health officials among other authorities.
Also consistent with CDC guidelines, customers are required to wear face covers before entering the store except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or where the individual is under 2 years of age. We have signage on doors and make announcements over the store’s public address system to remind customers that face covers are required. Walgreens management may gently remind customers who are shopping without masks about the requirement, but out of concern for our employee’s safety, we do not stop these customers from shopping“Fraser Engerman, Senior Director, External Relations
Kroger is also keeping a mask mandate stating, “we’ll maintain our current policy for the time being. It will be reviewed on a weekly basis.”
Officials with Meijer say, “to help ensure the continued health and safety of its team members and customers, Meijer will continue to require face coverings be worn by anyone entering a Meijer store or Meijer Express station at all of our locations throughout the Midwest. While customers who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings are exempt, we ask for your continued support as we work through these unprecedented times.“
Target is not only requiring masks, they are also promising to
“We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children. We also require all store team members to wear masks at work and have provided them with reusable and disposable masks. Those who have been vaccinated for coronavirus are still required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines, in line with current CDC guidance.
To help our guests, we:
Provide disposable masks at our store entrances to guests who do not have one.
Remind guests to wear masks with signs, team members at store entrances and overhead audio reminders.
Guide guests to shop our various no-contact fulfillment options, including Drive Up, Target.com and Shipt, if they don’t want to wear maskBrian Harper-Tibaldo |Communications
When asked if the store hours change and go back to staying open for 24 hours a day, all stores said they will monitor the spread of COVID-19 and go from there.
The Indiana Department of Health Commissioner and Governor Holcomb will also monitor the spread and redirect when needed.
If you have questions about whether or not a business or restaurant is still requiring face masks you can call and ask ahead of time. Another option is to simply keep a mask with you just in case.