Ohio grocery stores now able to choose own mask requirements

At Monnettes’ Market in Glendale and Secor, customers can choose whether or not to wear a mask. In the meantime, Kroger will continue to need masks.

TOLEDO, Ohio – With Governor Mike DeWine suspending all health orders on June 2, grocery stores will now have the option to maintain or get rid of mask requirements.

Some stores say they plan to keep the mask mandate while others say they aren’t entirely sure what they’re going to do right now.

But they have already made up their minds at Monnettes’ Market in South Toledo.

“Hooray!” Claudia Billings, a buyer from Maumee, laughs. “Yes, long overdue. We have to follow the big states of Texas and Florida.”

Billings is a longtime customer of Monnettes’ Market on Glendale Avenue.

She is overjoyed that the store will soon no longer require customers to wear a mask.

“Right now we are obeying the law they mandated. But on June 2nd we will give our employees and customers this option and respect every decision they make. For people who have anything to do with food, we can to do this.” I need to talk about it internally, “said Issac Stanford, the store manager at Monnettes’ Market.

This also applies to the Monnettes’ Market on Secor Road.

Some customers, like Tommy Wayne, say they will continue to wear a mask.

“I’ve been vaccinated, but we don’t know how the vaccination works,” Wayne said. “Well I think it’s too early.”

The grocery store claims to have constant conversations about best course of action and is ready to listen to its customers and change direction if necessary.

“If someone feels insecure, I know myself personally, I’ll go shopping for them myself. If we get 100 orders now, besides having to do some shopping, we may have to do something else,” said Standford.

“I hope we’re over the hill. I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of this terrible virus completely. But you know, you can’t just lock yourself in a room and stay there forever. You have to carry on,” said Billings.

Walt Churchill’s two markets in Maumee and Perrysburg say they are waiting to find out after their security committee meets later this week or next week.

Kroger plans to stay the course.

The Cincinnati-based Kroger family of companies, but which operates several other grocery chains nationwide, sent a statement to WTOL 11 when asked about their plans. Currently, Kroger plans to continue to require masks for everyone in its stores.

“As throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the latest guidance from the CDC and soliciting feedback from staff to guide the next phase of our policy,” the statement said. “In addition, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and consider using touchless food delivery or touchless food collection.”

WTOL 11 reached out to Walmart and Meijer of Michigan, but has not yet heard from them.

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