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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Coscto to require everyone to wear masks starting next Monday

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 12, 2020

This photo from March shows a line of shoppers at the Costco in Spokane Valley. Starting Monday, all shoppers must wear a mask. Shoppers with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks will be provided face shields.  (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)
This photo from March shows a line of shoppers at the Costco in Spokane Valley. Starting Monday, all shoppers must wear a mask. Shoppers with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks will be provided face shields. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review)
By Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

While the vast majority of Spokane area shoppers will not see a difference, Costco stores will start on Monday requiring all shoppers and staff to wear face masks or face shields in the store.

The one main difference is for those shoppers with medical conditions who previously were allowed to shop without a mask.

Those shoppers will be provided a face shield, a local manager said.

The stores are getting their marching orders from president and CEO Craig Jelinek, who posted on the Costco website on Wednesday about the new mask policy.

“This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Jelinek said.

“Our goal is to continue to provide a safe shopping environment for our members and guests, and to provide a safe work environment for our employees.”

Costco implemented a mandatory face-mask policy on May 4. But, it exempted shoppers with medical conditions that made wearing a mask untenable.

“This is no longer the case,” Jelinek said “If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco.”

Store officials at the Spokane Valley location directed a reporter’s questions to corporate. A man from the Mead Costco, who asked only to be identified as a manager, said that those persons with medical conditions that make masks unwearable will be provided a face shield by the store.

Jelinek noted in his letter that the only persons now exempted from wearing masks are children under the age of 2.

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