Target and CVS are among the retailers to begin requiring that shoppers wear masks inside their stores.
The Minneapolis-based retailer will start requiring shoppers to wear masks on Aug. 1 (its employees already do), according to Target's website. People with underlying conditions and young children won't have to wear a mask.
Target says an employee will be stationed at the entrance of its stores to remind people of the requirement and it will provide disposable masks for shoppers who don't have their own. It will also add signage and audio reminders of the new rule.
This comes as shoppers in more than 80 percent of Target's stores are already required to wear masks due to local and state regulations, the website says.
Meanwhile, CVS will require masks earlier, starting Monday, July 20.
This comes as cases of COVID-19 are spiking across the country and retailers, communities and states are mandating masks to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges people to wear a mask to help limit the spread of COVID-19. CDC leaders published an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Tuesday, saying there's evidence that face coverings, even those made at home, prevent the spread of the virus, especially when used by everyone in a community.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
In Minnesota, Duluth, Edina, Excelsior, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, St. Paul, Rochester and Winona are among the cities that have or will implement mask requirements for indoor public spaces. Other cities, including Bloomington, St. Cloud and Wayzata, are considering mask mandates.
Minnesota has yet to require masks statewide, but Gov. Tim Walz says he's looking into it as pressure increases, including from the Minnesota Medical Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, for a statewide mandate (despite Republican lawmakers saying one isn't needed).
More than 20 states already have a mask mandate, NPR reported.
Kohl's, on Wednesday, announced its own mask mandate that begins July 20.