Smith’s will no longer require masks for fully vaccinated shoppers, most associates

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Laura Withers

UTAH, May 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Smith’s will no longer require masks for fully vaccinated shoppers and associates, parent company Kroger announced Wednesday.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kroger Family of Companies’ most urgent
priority has been the safety of our associates and customers,” the company said Wednesday. “We have adhered to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marc Watkins and listened to our associates and customers to guide our policies.”

Last week, the CDC issued new guidance for individuals who have been fully
vaccinated. “We have received feedback from and heard the valued opinions of
thousands of associates regarding the CDC’s announcement,” the news release said. “Based on the CDC’s science-based guidance and the input of our associates, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect.”

The updated policy is as follows:

• Starting May 20, fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated associates no longer need to wear a mask in Kroger facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices, unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction. If there is a state or local mandate, we will adhere to that requirement and its timeline.
• Non-vaccinated associates will be required to wear a mask.
• Associates in pharmacy and clinic locations will be required to continue wearing a mask due to the CDC’s guidance for healthcare settings.• Non-vaccinated customers are asked to continue to wearing a mask.

“We will continue to respect the choice of individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask,” the news release said. “We will continue to implement enhanced cleaning and physical distancing across all facilities as well as offer associates a $100 one-time payment for receiving the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Customers can click here to make a COVID-19 appointment. Many pharmacies are also accepting walk-in appointments for added convenience.


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