CORONAVIRUS

Hy-Vee to distribute free masks in stores

Along with handing out masks, Hy-Vee employees will begin wear clothing showing the chain's #x201c;Mask It Up to Shut CO
Along with handing out masks, Hy-Vee employees will begin wear clothing showing the chain’s “Mask It Up to Shut COVID Down. It’s Your Choice” initiative and signs will be posted with educational content to remind customers to socially distance and follow other CDC-recommended practices. Above, a Hy-Vee store in Coralville. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Hy-Vee stores will begin hanging out free masks to customers July 27 to protect employees and customers and to encourage mask wearing in public.

The West Des Moines-based supermarket chain intends to hand out more than 3 million single-use, disposable masks across its 245 stores.

According to a news release, employees will be stationed at doors to give masks to people who don’t have one, though masks aren’t required to enter the Iowa stores.

Employees, however, are required to wear face coverings.

This is part of an initiative called “Mask It Up to Shut COVID Down. It’s Your Choice.”

Masks are required to enter Hy-Vee locations and other supermarkets in Illinois and Kansas.

Along with handing out masks, employees will wear clothing showing the initiative and signs will be posted with educational content to remind customers to socially distance and follow other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended practices, Hy-Vee Public Relations Director Christina Gayman said.

» THESE STORES REQUIRE MASKS: See the updated list of Iowa retailers

Other supermarkets have gone a step further, requiring customers wear masks or other face coverings will inside the store. National retailers such as Costco, Walmart and Sam’s Club have started requiring masks in stores, while Aldi will require masks starting July 27 and Target will begin Aug. 1.

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For a full list of retailers that require masks in Iowa, go to thegazette.com/stores-requiring-masks-iowa-coronavirus-news.

Comments: (319) 398-8371; brooklyn.draisey@thegazette.com

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