COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Face covering confusion took over Colorado Springs Walmart locations Friday, as shoppers navigated mixed messages from the major retailer.
Walmart had greeters at the entrances of the 8th Street and Platte Ave. locations with boxes of masks ready for customers on Friday. Employees told Colorado Springs shoppers they'd have to put one on to enter the store. Customers reacted one of two ways.
“I think masks are overrated and they don’t do anything. I’m never going to wear one," said Walmart shopper Lee Lacey.
But others were unbothered by the potential policy reversal.
“I’m okay with it," said Walmart customer Roshan Dhakal. "If they require it and think it’s safe for the public, I will wear it.”
We asked store employees about the new policy and were told the notice came from corporate bosses on Friday. One employee at the Platte Ave. location said the requirement is in response to the growing number of delta variant cases in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for mask-wearing earlier this week and recommended that El Paso County residents wear masks.
NEW: Walmarts in Colorado Springs are now requiring customers to mask up.— Andrew McMillan (@AndyMackReports) July 30, 2021
Greeters are back at the entrance with boxes of masks to give every one to every customer walking in.
Walmart earlier announced that all employees would be required to wear masks again, but the statement didn't mention that masks were mandatory for customers.
A regional spokesperson for Walmart confirmed that policy on Friday, telling Newschannel 13 that Walmart is stopping short of requiring masks for vaccinated shoppers. However, signage will be placed on Walmart entrances soon to remind shoppers of the CDC's recent recommendation that people in 'high transmission areas' wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
Kroger is taking up the same policy. The grocery chain is strongly encouraging everyone to wear masks indoors, but is not requiring it. Costco's website says it will follow local and state mask guidelines. Neither Gov. Jared Polis nor the El Paso County Health Department have issued new mask guidance following the CDC's recent recommendation.