Costco announced that beginning Monday, May 4, it will only allow people wearing face masks or face coverings to enter its stores.
The policy states that “all Costco members and guests must wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while at Costco,” and excludes children under two years old and people whose medical conditions disable them from wearing face coverings.
Costco is not the first store in the region to require customers to wear face coverings. Smart and Final began following the same policy earlier this month.
The company said in a statement, “Smart & Final is committed to the health of our communities, and we are doing everything we can to provide a safe and comfortable shopping experience. In-line with regulations enacted in several counties throughout California in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, our associates and customers are required to wear a face covering while in stores.”
The cities of Clovis and Fresno are not requiring the public to wear face mask when out and about, but the FCDPH urges people to wear masks whenever they may be around others, such as in grocery stores.
While Fresno does not require the public to wear face masks, it does require all workers to do so.
When the outbreak began in early March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only advised people to wear masks in public if they were sick. But the organizations changed their stance in April, after it became evident that people without symptoms were spreading the contagious virus. The CDC now advises people to wear face masks in public settings where social distancing is difficult.
The CDC recommends using cloth face masks, as the surgical N-95 masks should be reserved for medical workers on the front lines.
Some businesses have pivoted to making face masks to meet the high demand, including Snowflake Designs in Clovis. The business is known for creating custom gymnastic leotards, but pivoted to selling cloth face masks after the outbreak began.
Snowflake Designs is still taking orders online and over the phone.