SUBSCRIBE NOW

Costco updating coronavirus mask policy to require shoppers with medical conditions to wear face shields

Kelly Tyko
USA TODAY

Costco, which was one of the first retailers to mandate shoppers wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, is updating its face mask policy.

Starting Monday, Nov. 16, the wholesale club says it will require all members, guests and employees to wear a face mask or face shield with the exception of children under 2.

"Members and guests must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times," Costco said on its COVID-19 updates page. "Individuals who are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition must wear a face shield. ... Entry to Costco will be granted only to those wearing a face mask or face shield."

Walmart hours:Walmart extends store hours after cutting them amid COVID-19, weekly senior hour continues

Fake News is victorious:Donald Trump lost the election, but misinformation will continue to win

Costco's original policy went into effect in early May and didn't require shoppers with medical conditions to wear masks.

“This is no longer the case,” Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek wrote in a letter to members this week. “If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco.”

Mask compliance has sparked debates throughout the pandemic as Americans received mixed messages from authorities over whether they should wear face coverings in public places.

“This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Jelinek wrote. “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 says the use of face coverings isn't a substitute for social distancing and notes it has delivery options on its website for "members who are unable to wear a mask or face covering."

Despite struggles, these businesses are hiring:Restaurants and stores are struggling to survive. So why are many boosting spending, hiring workers?

Reviewed recommendation:New CDC guidelines say face masks protect those wearing them, too. Here are some of the best ones.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko