DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Walmart customers reacted swiftly to the company’s announcement on Wednesday to make mask-wearing mandatory in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company said starting July 20, all customers would be required to wear masks in its stores in the U.S.
“To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face-covering starting Monday, July 20,” the company said in Wednesday’s statement. “This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes.”
WDTN.com asked several of its readers and viewers on its Facebook page for their thoughts on Walmart’s decision on masks. The answers ranged from questioning the effectiveness of masks to wishing the state had made businesses do this months ago.
“I do not think (masks) do much because people don’t wear them correctly,” Susan Jones, a Northmont grad living in Bowling Green Ky., told WDTN.com. “I think social distancing is better, but it seems people have a hard time with that as well.”
Jones said she has friends and family members that work in the nursing field and they aren’t convinced of the effectiveness of masks. With COVID-19 being spread by droplets, she said the masks don’t work like they should because of people constantly adjusting them, touching them and then touching items and people in the store.
“(I) think that masks are giving a false sense of security,” Jones said. “People are relying on them and are no longer washing their hands or using sanitizer as they should.”
Christopher Erb, from Dayton, said Walmart should have made this policy company-wide months ago. He said many people believe the COVID-19 outbreak is a hoax, but with Walmart and other companies implementing their own mask policies, this should be proof to them it isn’t.
“It was left up to individuals to choose to wear a mask and we have an explosion in behavior that I consider sociopathic in its disregard for other people’s lives,” Erb said of people ignoring state guidelines. “The people currently opposed to masking mandates are also the people who think choices like these should be up to businesses. Well, the richest business in America has spoken.”
Lynn Walker of Fairborn was relieved by the order. She has relatives with major health issues and was hoping retailers would make masks mandatory months ago. Montgomery County has been under a mandatory order since July 8 by order of Gov. Mike DeWine and Dayton issued a mandatory mask ordinance on July 1.
“I am completely for it,” Walker said. “I only wish more retailers would follow. I think a mask is a minor inconvenience for us and scientific data proves it works. I understand some people can’t wear them, but a face shield is a good option for them.”
In its statement, the company said 65 percent of its 5,000 stores and Sam’s Clubs stores are located in areas with some form of government mask mandate.
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