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Starbucks, Costco, and Walmart join Trader Joe’s with updated in-store mask policy

Home Depot, QFC, Fred Meyer’s, CVS, and Walgreens are keeping the mask mandate in place.

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[KIRKLAND] – (MTN) A growing list of major retailers are making masks optional for individuals who have been fully vaccinated in a flurry of website updates and press releases. Starbucks has announced that starting Monday, vaccinated individuals don’t have to wear masks in their United States locations unless local rules require them. On Friday, Costco, Walmart, and Sam’s Club adopted the same policy. Sam’s Club is a membership-based warehouse store owned by Walmart and is similar to Costco. The retailer closed its western Washington locations several years ago.

Apple, Target, CVS, and Walgreens indicated they were maintaining requirements to wear a mask for now, but are evaluating CDC guidelines and might update their policies. Kroger, which owns QFC and Fred Meyer’s announced they would continue to mandate masks at its locations as did Home Depot.

Locally, Metropolitan Market issued a statement that masks are optional for fully vaccinated customers. PCC, a co-op-based grocery chain with 15 locations has also made masks optional for fully vaccinated customers.

Retailers, restaurants, bars, gyms, and other public businesses in King County are still in Phase 3 under the Safe Washington reopening program and can operate at 50% capacity. The Safe Washington reopening plan announced in March was essentially scraped by Gov. Inslee yesterday, with a new plan moving all counties to Phase 3 on May 18, and Washington state to full reopening on June 30.

The United States has administered over 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide. As of April 17, Washington state has administered more than 6 million doses, and over 43% of residents over 16-years old are fully vaccinated.

In King County, you can visit the Department of Health website to find a vaccination clinic, and many locations now support walk-up appointments. You can also visit the Facebook Group, Find a COVID Shot WA if you need language or technology assistance in making an appointment.

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