Many retailers across Kansas have lifted their mask mandates. Here is a list.
KANSAS – A growing list of businesses in Kansas are lifting their mask-wearing requirements in light of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued last week, that eases face covering recommendations if a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Walmart, Costco and Target announced earlier this week that they would allow shoppers who have been vaccinated to ditch their masks in their stores. Individuals who have not gotten their immunization are asked to continue to wear a face covering.
After initially indicating they would keep their mask requirements, Kroger reversed course on Wednesday, announcing that shoppers and many store workers would be able to enter without masks.
That would apply to shoppers at Dillons stores throughout Kansas. Hy-Vee has also said masks are optional at its outlets.
BJ’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, Lowes, Best Buy, Walgreens and CVS are among the other chains that are letting vaccinated customers go maskless if desired.
Residents shopping at these businesses in the remaining parts of Kansas with mask mandates would still need a face covering.
Only two municipalities in Kansas still have those requirements, however. Douglas County opted to keep its mask mandate for at least another week and county officials in Wyandotte County will take up the issue later this month.
The new guidance from the CDC raised eyebrows last week and caused some pushback. The nation’s largest nurses union came out in opposition to the changes on Monday, expressing concerns that it would lead to a rise in cases.
Gov. Laura Kelly has said there was little reason for Kansas not to follow the new guidelines.
“We just decided to go with the experts,” Kelly told reporters Monday. “This is what these people do for a living. … I really didn’t have any hesitancy. I would have preferred a longer heads-up, a longer runway to get the information out, but it is what it is.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported a rise of 406 cases since Wednesday, as well as an increase of four deaths and 42 new hospitalizations.
About 45% of Kansans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for roughly 1.3 million individuals.
The state ranks 27th nationally for the percentage of individuals who have gotten vaccinated, according to data from the CDC.