Best Buy will require customers to wear masks in its stores

Best Buy said Tuesday that it will require all shoppers coming into its stores to wear face masks.

Posted: Jul 14, 2020 5:17 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2020 5:35 PM

Best Buy said Tuesday that it will require all shoppers coming into its stores to wear face masks.

It's the latest mask mandate for customers announced by a major chain at a time when coronavirus cases across the country are continuing to rise.

Starbucks said last week that it will require customers to wear facial coverings or masks in all of its 9,000 company-owned US stores beginning Wednesday. Costco began requiring its members to wear masks in stores beginning in May.

Best Buy's new policy goes into effect Wednesday and applies to all of the company's approximately 1,000 stores across the country.

It will provide face coverings for customers who don't have one, and small children and customers unable to wear a mask for health reasons can shop without one.

More than 3.3 million people have now tested positive for the coronavirus nationwide and more than 130,000 have died.

Cases are climbing in much of the country and many cities and states are reimposing restrictions to contain new outbreaks, including mask requirements in public settings.

On Monday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told Bloomberg that a mandate requiring customers to wear masks in the company's stores is something "that's on our minds." Right now, Walmart customers must wear a mask before entering one of 3,700 Walmart locations "where either a governor or someone else has mandated it," according to McMillon.

Industry groups and unions are also rallying around mask requirements for customers.

Last week, the Retail Leaders Industry Association, an industry trade group, called on the nation's governors to pass statewide mandates requiring citizens to wear masks in public.

The United Food and Commercial Workers' Union also urged government officials and business leaders to require masks for customers in an advertisement over the weekend.

Although no federal mandate to wear a mask exists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone "should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public." The CDC said that "face coverings are meant to protect other people."

But most major retailers and grocers have hesitated to enact their own mask mandates for customers during the pandemic, partly over fears of antagonizing shoppers who refuse to wear them.

Retailers have said they are reluctant to put their employees in the position of enforcing mask requirements.

A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Michigan was shot and killed in May after he told a customer to wear a mask, and in recent weeks, videos of confrontations between angry customers and clerks over these rules have gone viral.

"In large part, many sales associates are rarely trained to enforce [mask requirements] and they're certainly not paid to confront belligerent customers," said Meegan Holland, vice president for the Michigan Retailers Association. The group recently hosted webinars for businesses on how to de-escalate mask confrontations.

The National Retail Federation, another retail industry trade group, has also given top retailers a "de-escalation" script to share with their employees if a customer attempts to enter a store without a mask where it is required either by the store or a local measure.

The script includes tips such as being aware of a customers' body language, remaining calm and calling 911 if a customer threatens violence.

A Best Buy representative said the company will have have a "designated, specially-trained employee at the front of the store to welcome customers, remind them of our new policy and provide them a mask if they don't have one."

CNN's Cristina Alesci and Jordan Valinsky contributed to this article.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
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