The Emporia Gazette
A number of local retailers and grocery stores are rolling out mandatory masks for shoppers this week.
Beginning Monday, Walmart is requiring face coverings in all of its stores — including the Emporia location. The policy was announced last week.
“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus and priority has been and continues to be on the health and safety of our associates, members and customers,” Walmart said in a written release. “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.”
On Tuesday, CVS and Walgreen’s pharmacies will require face coverings.
Country Mart and Good’s Cash Saver — both owned by Matt Good — will require face coverings beginning Wednesday.
Kroger — which owns the Dillons Food Store in Emporia — also announced a mask requirement last week. Masks are required at all Kroger-owned stores, including all Dillons locations, starting Wednesday.
Aldi will join the ranks next week. The grocery chain announced last week that shoppers will need face coverings beginning July 27. Associates have been wearing masks for months.
According to a poll conducted on The Emporia Gazette’s social media, 88% of respondents said they would continue to shop at stores requiring face coverings, while 12% said they would not.
More than 2,000 people responded to the poll.
While Lyon County did not opt into Gov. Laura Kelly’s mandatory mask mandate, the current public health order strongly encourages mask wearing and social distancing. Businesses are free to enact their own requirements.
On April 1, the Emporia City Commission narrowly approved an ordinance establishing a new offense in the city code related to the violation of public health orders. The ordinance — “Violating a Public Health Order” — makes it unlawful to disobey an order imposed by the Lyon County Public Health Officer, Lyon County Board of Health or Lyon County Director of Health. The offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $500, up to one month of jail time, or both.