With each day, we see the great undoing of what was the opposite one year ago: Mask requirements. In May 2020, many cities, counties, or whole states had begun adopting mask mandates. Businesses followed suit as a means to protect customers and employees alike. Fast forward one year: You are no longer required to wear one... if you've been vaccinated, that is. The latest, an Iowa-based grocer that never closed during the pandemic, and is at the forefront of the vaccination effort.

Iowa based Hy-Vee ends mask requirements for both customers and employees

The chain announced via a press release sent to this station - and on its website, that following last week's CDC announcement loosening restrictions, Hy-Vee will no longer require fully vaccinated customers and employees to wear face coverings in its stores. This is effective immediately. In addition to Iowa, Hy-Vee serves much of the Midwest with stores in 265 locations in Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The chain has not gone back to its 2019 incarnation by any stretch, however. The press release states,

Hy-Vee will continue to implement its extra safety and sanitization procedures that have been in place since COVID-19 first began ... (including) its Plexiglas barriers all manned check stands.

Hy-Vee will continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines

Many Hy-Vee pharmacies now allow customers to walk in without an appointment to receive a COVID vaccine. The chain will continue to offer vaccinations, and COVID testing as the pandemic, we hope, winds down in the U.S.

Mask mandates are dropping like flies

Wal-Mart, Best buy, Target, Trader Joe's, Sam's Club and even the Cedar Rapids Kernels have all bid adieu to any mask requirement for vaccinated customers/staff.

Fareway still requiring masks... for now

As of the writing of this article on May 18, Fareway has not changed its policy requiring all customers and employees to wear a face-covering while in its stores. it's possible this will change as more and more businesses ease their face-covering requirements. However, some retailers have said they will not change their policy. Apple and Walgreens according to a USA Today story. Waterloo Public Schools is also sticking with its mask rules.

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