Stores change mask requirements due to recent CDC mask recommendations

Retailers recommending masks, some requiring, even for vaccinated customers

Photo of Angela Mulka

Retailers in Michigan are recommending wearing masks, and some requiring them, even for vaccinated customers.

While cases of COVID-19 related to the Delta variant are taking off, national retailers announced the week of Aug. 1 that they are taking steps to protect employees and stop the spread.

Walmart is requiring indoor mask-wearing based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines — which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties of substantial or high transmission.

"We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately," according to a Walmart news release.

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Here's where your county stands as of Aug. 9:


•    Alpena
•    Allegan
•    Baraga
•    Branch
•    Charlevoix
•    Delta
•    Gogebic
•    Hillsdale
•    Huron
•    Iosco
•    Jackson
•    Kalkaska
•    Montmorency
•    Newaygo
•    Ogemaw
•    St. Joseph
•    Van Buren


•    Alcona
•    Antrim
•    Arenac
•    Barry
•    Bay
•    Berrien
•    Calhoun
•    Cass
•    Crawford
•    Eaton
•    Emmet
•    Genesee
•    Gladwin
•    Grand Traverse
•    Gratiot
•    Ingham
•    Ionia
•    Iron
•    Isabella
•    Kalamazoo
•    Kent
•    Lake
•    Lapeer
•    Leelanau
•    Lenawee
•    Livingston
•    Luce
•    Macomb
•    Manistee
•    Mason
•    Menominee
•    Midland
•    Monroe
•    Muskegon
•    Oakland
•    Ottawa
•    Presque Isle
•    Saginaw
•    Shiawassee
•    St. Clair
•    Tuscola
•    Washtenaw
•    Wayne


•    Benzie
•    Cheboygan
•    Chippewa
•    Clare
•    Clinton
•    Dickinson
•    Houghton
•    Mackinac
•    Marquette
•    Mecosta
•    Missaukee
•    Montcalm
•    Oceana
•    Osceola
•    Oscoda
•    Otsego
•    Roscommon
•    Sanilac
•    Wexford


•    Alger
•    Keweenaw
•    Ontonagon
•    Schoolcraft

The Kroger Company is "strongly encouraging" all individuals, including those who are vaccinated, to wear a mask when in their stores and facilities. Kroger's current guidelines require unvaccinated employees to wear a mask and request that customers also do so.

Meijer asks that,”all customers who are not fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, wear a mask while they shop at our stores and maintain social distance. Subject to local, state and federal health and safety recommendations.”

Costco locations will follow the face mask regulations of the applicable state and local jurisdictions, according to its website. More recently, Costco reduced its special hours for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems to twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Delta variant is a mutation of the coronavirus that originated in India. It's the most contagious variant in the pandemic. It is more contagious than viruses such as Ebola and in terms of spreading is like chicken pox, according to an article in Detroit Free Press.

Vaccinations offer good protection against the delta variant, but even people who are vaccinated can spread the disease to others that are not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said wearing a mask is important for those with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions, at risk for severe illness, in vulnerable households or are unvaccinated.

As more stores keep updating their mask policies, we’ll update this story on the website.

Read Home Depot’s latest statement here.

Read Kroger’s latest statement here.

Read Meijer’s latest statement here.

Read Target’s latest statement here.

Read Walmart’s latest statement here.

Updates as of Aug. 9: 26 counties were upgraded from moderate to substantial. Those counties were Alcona, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Berrien, Crawford, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Lapeer, Leelanau, Lenawee, Luce, Manistee, Menominee, Midland, Monroe, Ottowa, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. Additionally, eight counties were upgraded from substantial to high. Those counties were Allegan, Charlevoix, Delta, Jackson, Kalkaska, Montmorency, St. Joesph and Van Buren. Lastly, four counties were upgraded from moderate to high. Those four counties were Baraga, Gogebic, Newaygo and Ogemaw.