As COVID-19 cases are back on the rise, some major grocery stores in Western New York still are not requiring customers to wear masks again. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued guidance recommending people wear masks again, as the highly transmissible Delta variant is spreading.

According to CNN, internal documents from the CDC say,

Given higher transmissibility and current vaccine coverage, universal masking is essential to reduce transmission of the Delta variant.

Both Tops Friendly Markets and Wegmens are still not requiring masks. According to WIVB, shoppers at Tops, who are vaccinated, do not have to wear a mask unless they choose to. Customers who are unvaccinated are required to wear masks.

Wegmens currently has a similar policy in place, for now. Things could change if Governor Cuomo mandates masks again.

Costco has no mask mandate, unless it is required by the government in the area. Its website states,

Costco locations will follow the face mask regulations of the applicable state and local jurisdictions.

Aldi and Price Rite's websites both note previous CDC guidelines relaxing mask-wearing, so things could change now that the CDC has recommended masks again.

Aldi's website says that vaccinated shoppers and employees are not required to wear masks, unless local or state mandates change. But its policy via its website does specify,

“We require that unvaccinated customers and employees continue all appropriate safety precautions, including wearing masks and physically distancing, to protect themselves and others.”

Price Rite's website states,

Store associates will adhere to the same state or local guidance as customers. In certain locations, the individual owner’s company policy may require all associates to continue wearing a mask in our stores.

Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, ended its mask police on May 19 for customers and employees. Its policy on its website states,

Customers and Team Members who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are welcome in most of our store locations without a mask. Unvaccinated customers are asked to continue to wear masks. Masks are still required in U.S. and Canada stores with a state/provincial or local mandate.

Walmart is requiring masks for its employees and highly encourages masks for customers. It recently released a statement via its website,

We will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission. In these counties and where there are state or local mask mandates, associates will be required to wear masks inside our facilities, including stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.

Here are the most up-to-date COVID-19 statistics released from the Governor's Office yesterday, July 30, 2021:

Test Results Reported - 108,797
Total Positive - 2,677
Percent Positive - 2.46%
7-Day Average Percent Positive - 2.28%
Patient Hospitalization - 657 (+46)
Patients Newly Admitted - 132
Patients in ICU - 134 (+8)
Patients in ICU with Intubation - 56 (-1)
Total Discharges - 186,695 (+99)
Deaths - 3

The Delta variant has been spreading throughout New York, increasing COVID-19 positivity rates. Gov. Cuomo said,

"The Delta variant's spread throughout New York State and across the country is reinforcing the need for New Yorkers to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. This virus can still infect you and others, and being vaccinated is the crucial action each of us can take the slow the spread. There's ample supply and vaccination sites conveniently located across the state, so I urge everyone who can to get the vaccine as soon as possible."

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