Kohl’s, BJ’s and Target outlets, with stores in Utica, Rome, Syracuse and elsewhere in the Mohawk Valley and in Central New York have all announced that masks covering the nose and face at all times will be required in stores nationwide beginning on Monday, July 20.

“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,” CVS said in a statement.

According to the BJ's press release: “The use of a facial covering does not replace social distancing guidelines. All posted safety measures, including social distancing and the requirement of a facial covering, should continue to be adhered to while shopping."

Walmart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Starbucks and other prominent businesses also recently mandated face coverings would be required at all stores nationwide.

Many people have had unsatisfactory and frustrating moments in stores. The National Retail Federation said consumers should not be forced to compromise their shopping experience because they don't feel safe, and that led to the new rules being widely adopted by retail shops.

More than 35 states now require face coverings in public settings as coronavirus cases top 3.4 million in the U.S. As of Thursday, more than 137,000 deaths have been reported.

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