Which Major Illinois Stores Still Require Masks Following CDC Announcement?

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Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new health guidelines for fully vaccinated people, major storefronts across Illinois have released updated mask-wearing policies.

The CDC revised its guidelines on Thursday, saying that vaccinated individuals should not be required to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings, with some exceptions.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he plans to revise executive orders to sync up with new CDC guidelines. As of Friday morning, the mask mandate was not updated.

“I firmly believe in following the science, and will revise my executive orders in line with CDC guidelines lifting additional mitigations for vaccinated people,” Pritzker said. “The scientists’ message is clear: if you are vaccinated, you can safely do much more.”

Will you need to wear a mask while shopping at the following stores?

Target: Yes

Target announced Friday stores will continue to require face masks in stores while company officials review the latest CDC mask guidance.

"Target will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests," the company said in a statement.

CVS: Yes

At CVS stores across the area, customers must continue to wear a face mask while shopping while the company "reevaluates" its position on the policy, according to a statement made Friday.

"CVS Health is currently reevaluating its position on masks given the CDC’s new guidance. Until that evaluation is complete, the existing company policies on face coverings and maintaining social distance in stores and clinics remain in effect. The safety of our employees, customers and vendors will continue to guide our decision-making process," the company said in a statement.

Trader Joe's: No

When shopping at Trader Joe's, customers do not need to wear a mask if fully vaccinated as of Friday. The store did not detail whether or not shoppers would be asked to prove COVID vaccinations.

"We encourage customers to follow the guidance of health officials, including, as appropriate, CDC guidelines that advise customers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while shopping," a message on Trader Joe's website read Friday.

Meijer: Yes

According to Meijer's website, the company will continue to require face coverings or masks while shopping at stores or Meijer Express Stations as part of their COVID-19 guidelines.

Walgreens: Yes

Shoppers at Walgreens stores will still be required to wear a face covering "for the time being," as well, the company detailed Friday.

"We have decided to keep our current face covering policy in place for the time being. The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority and will continue to guide our decision process," a spokesperson for Walgreens said in a statement.

Costco: Yes, but likely not for long

Because Pritzker has not yet changed the mask mandate in Illinois, face coverings will still be required at Costco stores across the state. However, according to Costco's website, masks do not need to be worn if a shopper is fully vaccinated in stores if the local jurisdiction does not have a mandate in place.

Costco noted customers do not need to provide proof of vaccination, but asked for members' "responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy." Face coverings are still required in Pharmacy, Optical and Hearing Aid areas.

"Costco continues to recommend that all members and guests, especially those who are at higher risk, wear a mask or shield," the website read.

Walmart: Yes, but likely not for long

Similar to Costco, masks will still be required while shopping at Walmart given Illinois' mandate, the company said on Friday. Should Pritzker make changes to the state's mask mandate, however, customers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to wear a face covering in stores.

In a memo sent to employees, the retailer said the change in its mask policy takes effect immediately at Walmart stores and its membership club, Sam's Club. Starting Tuesday, it said employees who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask while working.

The list above will continue to be updated as more information is released from stores on the latest mask guidance.

According to the CDC, "fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing," but there are some exceptions.

Those exceptions include places where masks are required by "federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

Fully vaccinated people should also continue to wear a well-fitted mask in:

  • correctional facilities and homeless shelters
  • If you travel, you will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations

Chicago's health department echoed those claims.

"We also agree with the CDC that masks should be worn during travel, including use of public transit, and that the unvaccinated should continue to wear masks in most settings," the department's statement read.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to wear a mask in most instances. Those who are not vaccinated can go outside without masks in some cases, however.

Here's a look at what the CDC says is safe for unvaccinated people to do without a mask:

  • Walk, run, or bike outdoors with members of your household
  • Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
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