While there is a government mandate on face coverings in many states across the country, there's no such mandate on a federal level. As a result, many businesses have started to enforce the use of masks uniformly. Costco was among the first businesses to only allow shoppers in if they wore a mask, and just recently, both Starbucks and Best Buy announced they would require customers to cover their face in some manner. Walmart has now followed suit, placing a face covering requirement at all of its United States stores, including Sam's Club locations.
"As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented," wrote Walmart U.S. chief operating officer Dacona Smith and Sam's Club chief operating officer Lance de la Rosa in a statement. "Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols."
In addition to the mask requirement, all Walmart and Sam's Club stores across the country will have a single entrance. "We know some people have differing opinions on this topic," the company's statement continues. "We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates."
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a high number of public freakout style videos in which people complain they're being victimized because they were told to wear a mask. A 43-year-old Michigan man stabbed a fellow customer who asked him to wear a mask this past week, while there were at least two similar incidents at different Costco locations near the start of July.
On Wednesday, CNBC News reported that the United States had confirmed 67,417 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, setting a record for new cases reported in a single day. Texas, California, and Florida accounted for almost half of the new cases. The CDC has already confirmed that there's substantial evidence to back up the fact that face coverings can dramatically decrease the spread of the virus, which can easily be spread by people who are asymptomatic.
See reactions to Walmart's mask mandate below.