A person wears a mask as he stands in line at Costco Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising Americans to voluntarily wear a basic cloth or fabric face mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Canadian Costco shoppers now being asked to wear non-medical face masks

This comes nearly a month after the warehouse outlet said that it wouldn’t be implementing a mask policy

Costco shoppers across Canada are being asked to wear non-medical face masks, as the mega-retailer becomes one of the first of its size to implement the measure in order to curb the possible spread of COVID-19.

Similar policies were introduced at Costco locations across the border on May 4.

In recent days, public health officials have brought clarity to concerns on whether Canadians should or shouldn’t don non-medical masks in public. Canada’s top doctor, Dr. Theresa Tam, said on Tuesday (May 19) that she recommends masks or face coverings in public spaces, but that it doesn’t substitute for physical distancing or practising good hygiene.

In a statement posted on its website Thursday (May 21), Costco said children under the age of two or individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt.

ALSO READ: B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

The company’s CEO, Craig Jelinek, said that the face mask policy and other measures have been implemented for a single purpose: “to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Costco employees and members.”

“The issues presented by this crisis are new to all of us, and we at Costco don’t pretend to have all the answers. We are not perfect,” he said. “But every step of the way, we’ve done our best to take care of our employees, take care of our members and support our communities. And we will continue to do so.”

ALSO READ: Costco bans return of hoarded items, including toilet paper

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article erroneously stated face masks will be required instead of recommended. The story has been updated appropriately.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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