Mary Claire Patton
SAN ANTONIO – To wear a mask, or not to wear a mask? That’s the question most people are asking when it comes to seemingly conflicting orders from Texas officials.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he recommends people wear masks but also said people cannot be fined for not wearing them. “No jurisdiction can impose any type of penalty or fine,” Abbott said at a press conference in April.
San Antonio and Bexar County officials extended the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order through May 19 which still requires masks to be worn, even though no penalties can be imposed for people not in compliance with the mask mandate.
Explained: How Abbott plans to reopen Texas and differences from San Antonio, Bexar County orders
Private stores are allowed to ask customers to leave if they’re not wearing a mask.
Based on a number of phone calls placed Monday, KSAT confirmed most local retailers are requiring face masks, despite corporate orders that only encourage it.
Costco – Effective May 4, all Costco members and guests are required to wear a mask at all times while at Costco. Children aged 2 and under and individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will not be required to wear one.
H-E-B – “In consideration of our safety, and in compliance with the City of San Antonio ordinance and as requested by the Governor of Texas, H-E-B is requiring our Partners (employees) and customers to continue to wear face coverings while shopping. We appreciate everyone helping to keep each other safe,” said H-E-B spokesperson Julie Bedingfield.
Sam’s Club – Employees are required to wear masks but a memo on the company’s website says masks will be encouraged for shoppers, and not necessarily required. A customer service associate at a local Sam’s Club said customers aren’t being turned away if they’re not wearing a mask.
San Antonio International Airport – Many airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks but the rules for airports differ. KSAT reached out to the San Antonio International Airport to see what the guidelines are for passengers locally.
Target – Masks are required for employees and while the corporate policy just encourages masks for shoppers, KSAT called several San Antonio stores and confirmed masks are required locally.
Walmart – As of April 17 all associates are required to wear face masks and shoppers will be encouraged to wear face coverings while shopping. San Antonio stores are requiring masks for shoppers, according to associates from several local stores.
Whole Foods – The grocery retailer “will be requesting customers wear masks in Whole Foods Market stores” and will be offering free, disposable masks to all customers who arrive to shop at each location, according to an Amazon blog post.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT:
Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.