Skip to Content

Mandatory mask policy: Walmart shoppers sound off

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Based on increasing coronavirus infections across the country, some retailers are ordering customers to wear masks inside their stores.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, soon will require all customers in its stores to wear masks.

"I think you ought to have masks on all the time to be safe, so it won't harm other people. So we need to wear masks at all times. I wear gloves also, so I'm trying to be safe," Walmart shopper Pearl Rutledge says.

Walmart and Sam's Club announced the policy change Wednesday, citing the spike in confirmed number of COVID-19 cases across the country.

All Walmart and Sam's Club stores will also implement a single entrance where a designated employee will remind shoppers about the face covering policy.

A corporate statement says about 65 percent of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings.

So in order to make things uniform, all its stores will require staff and customers to wear face coverings.

"So far I've just been doing it at the stores that require masks or like at church that requires masks. If that's what they feel we need to do, that's what I'm going to do," Janet Arvola tells us.

The corporate statement quotes the CDC, saying "face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don't have symptoms and don't know they are infected, it's critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance."

"I don't have a problem with it. I'm not a fan of wearing a mask, but I think it's a worthwhile thing to do just to help us get through this. If it helps, great. If it doesn't then I'm really no worse for wear for wearing a mask for 20 minutes to go into a store," Doug Greener says as he walks toward the store.

The corporate statement goes on to say that all stores will implement a single entrance, where a designated employee will remind shoppers about the face covering policy.

The statement also recognizes that some customers may not be able to wear a face covering, and that employees will be "trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone."

"I'm glad they do say everybody should wear a mask. Safe than sorry. You could wear a mask and then when you come out you could take it off. You in your own car then. But, yeah, I agree," Jahnelle King says.

"Well I kind of have mixed feelings about it. Yes, I think we should probably wear masks and stuff but I don't. And I feel like summertime is probably better to get fresh air and just stay your distance away from everybody than having to be required to wear a mask," shopper Amy Travis says.

Walmart's mandatory mask policy goes into effect Monday.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

Skip to content