Retail company to demand masks for workers in areas at high risk of coronavirus

FILE – This file photo from May 3, 2017, shows the Target logo on a store in Upper Saint Clair, Pa. Target posted strong fourth-quarter earnings, although sales were weighed down by weak toy and electronics sales during the crucial holiday shopping season. . Target joins a string of other retailers, including Walmart, with disappointing sales in the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013 (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar, File)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (WVLA) – Target is joining Walmart in making masks mandatory for some employees as the delta variant continues to spread in U.S. communities.

For now, when it comes to guests, Target won’t be requiring them to wear masks in their stores. For places where there is a “substantial or high risk” of COVID-19 transmission, Target said they would impose masks on employees and “highly recommend” them to buyers.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has released this statement below with the updated requirements:

The health and safety of our guests and team members has been Target’s top priority throughout the pandemic. Target will continue to recommend face coverings for team members and unvaccinated guests in all stores nationwide. Starting Tuesday, based on updated CDC guidelines, we will require face coverings for our team members and strongly recommend face coverings for all guests in areas with significant or high risk of transmission, as defined by the CDC. We will follow all local mandates, as we have done throughout the pandemic, and will continue to closely monitor CDC guidance. We will also maintain all of our health and safety protocols which include increased cleaning measures and social distancing. We encourage our team members and guests to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering vaccine appointments at nearly all CVSs at Target sites and by offering paid time and free Lyft rides to members of team when they get their shots.

Dr Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that more “pain and suffering” looms on the horizon as COVID-19 cases rise again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also said he is not planning additional lockdowns in the United States because he believes enough people are vaccinated to prevent a recurrence last winter. However, he said there was not enough vaccine to “crush the epidemic” at this point.

Fauci’s warning comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course to recommend that even vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in parts of the United States where the delta variant feeds into them. outbreaks of infection. With the change, federal health officials cited studies showing that vaccinated people can pass the virus on to others.

Most new infections in the United States continue to involve unvaccinated people. So-called breakthrough infections can occur in people who are vaccinated, and while the vast majority of them cause mild or no symptoms, research shows they can carry the same amount of coronavirus as those who don’t. have not received the vaccines.

A summary of recent CDC changes regarding mask guidelines is available below:

  • Updated information for those fully vaccinated based on new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully immunized people to wear a mask in indoor public places in areas of high or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, or if they have a person in their household who is immunocompromised, at an increased risk of serious illness or not fully immunized.
  • Added recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have known exposure to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 person to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in indoor public places for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • The CDC recommends universal interior masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of their immunization status.

The latest CDC figures show 610,873 died from COVID-19 in the United States.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Anne G. Cash

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