IN Schnucks, Meijer, Walmart stores continue pushing masking as state shifts to advisory

IN Schnucks, Meijer, Walmart stores continue pushing masking as state shifts to advisory

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana will soon join the list of states lifting mask mandates. The order has been enforced since last summer.

Now, it is mostly up to local businesses to choose if it will require or recommend customers wear face coverings.

14 News reached out to three major retailers Monday. Each of the corporations promptly responded.

For the better part of eight months, businesses across the state have made efforts to enforce the masking, which was a step Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb took back in July.

“We do still know the virus is here,” Joe Gries with the Vanderburgh County Health Department shared. “It is being transmitted person to person, but it is a very low rate.”

The mandate moves to an advisory this week. That does not mean throw away face coverings just yet. We are learning businesses, including some major retailers in Evansville will continue to enforce the measure.

“It’s their private business,” Gries added. “They have the right to ask people who are coming into their business to wear that mask and to social distance.”

Schnucks, in a statement, says it is asking all teammates, vendors and customers in all stores to continue wearing a face covering.

Walmart says it believes, “Our policy of requiring associates and customers to wear masks in our stores has helped protect them during the pandemic, and we’re not lifting those measures at this time.”

Meijer is also sticking with similar rules and says it will still require face coverings at all locations throughout the Midwest.

Non-compliance by customers, according to Evansville police, could lead to charges.

“We would approach that person and say ‘hey, the owner wants you to wear a mask,” Sgt. Nick Winsett hypothesized. “They request you wear a mask. If you refuse to do so, you’ll have to leave. And if you don’t, then it’s trespassing at that point.”

There are places where wearing a mask is still required.

These examples include in schools through the end of this academic year, and also COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites.

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