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CVS and Walgreens Will Finally Require Masks Nationwide

Lagging behind Starbucks, America's most popular pharmacies will now require masks.

hedgehog94/Shutterstock
hedgehog94/Shutterstock

Two major American destinations for sick people, CVS and Walgreens, have finally announced that protective face masks will be required in all of their stores nationwide. 

The news follows a slew of corporate mandates this week, starting with Starbucks on July 9. We've since seen announcements from some of America's biggest cultural hubs -- Best Buy, Kohl's, Kroger, Target, Sam's Club, and Walmart. Now, CVS is jumping on the bandwagon with its own press release, in a tone that's much more aggressive than its previous approach of "encouraging" customers to wear masks. 

"With the recent spike in COVID-19 infections, we're joining others in taking the next step and requiring all customers to wear face coverings when entering any of our stores throughout the country effective Monday, July 20," the press release reads.

Funnily, while I was in the middle of throwing shade at Walgreens, the competitor company announced its own mandate will be going into effect on July 20.

“As cases continue to rise in many parts of the country, it’s critical we, as businesses and members of the community, do everything we can to support recommendations of health officials, both locally and nationally," said Kevin Ban, Walgreens chief medical officer, in a press release.

In Walgreens' mandate, customers will be required to wear masks, and a very extreme form of intimidation called *additional signage* will be placed around the space. CVS said in its release that the company "was not asking our store employees to play the role of enforcer." ...All I'm going to say is that Walmart and Sam's club are dressing their employees in black and calling them "safety ambassadors," so maybe pharmacies!!! should step it up.

Most companies with newly announced regulations have cited the fact that most of their locations already had a mask mandate. Walmart and Sam's Club claimed a joint 65% of stores, while Target boasted 80% in a statement to CNN, for example. But as more and more folks push back on regulations through bogus mask exemption cards and cries for freedom, organizations like the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represents chains like Target and Home Depot, have called on every governor to introduce a mask mandate on the federal level.

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to randerson@thrillist.com.