The Delta variant of the Covid-19 spreads like crazy across the country and the increasing number of cases in the last couple of weeks puts under heavy pressure both hospitals and hospital workers. Fully vaccinated people were 99% safe from the virus up until lately, but those times are history since the high transmittable Delta variant also infects those who have received two doses of the vaccines and even sends them to hospital.
Although some states like Arkansas are seeing increasing trend in vaccination demand, the reality seems to be completely different from just the pure numbers the biased media reports. The vaccine hesitant US citizens continue to refuse the shot while some major private businesses, federal agencies, states and cities are already requiring their workers and residents to get the vaccine otherwise they threaten them to be fired, undergo weekly testing etc.
So, the question is in which direction is the whole situation going? Well, probably no one knows but it looks like the gap between the vaccine hesitant and their basic human rights increases.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that they will mandate inoculations for a range of indoor venues like eateries, gyms and entertainment centers. The decision goes into effect August 16. Some of the major tech companies like Google, Lyft, Facebook and Tyson Foods announced vaccine mandate for their employees. And this is only the start as many others are expected to follow this trend.
Almost every store had mask polices until the spring months when most, if not all, decided to lift the mask coverings mandate as a result of the pretty decent vaccination rates. However, the spread of the Delta variant changed the game and several major US supermarket and food chains decided to announce new, updated mask policies for both employees and customers.
The company will continue to follow state and local jurisdictions’ guidelines. This is what they announced on their website:
“Costco locations will follow the face mask regulations of the applicable state and local jurisdictions.”
The Southeast supermarket chain announced that they will require all their associates to wear face coverings while in the stores despite their vaccination status. As of now, no mask mandate was put into effect for customers, but the company announced the following on their site:
“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people in areas of substantial- or high-transmission risk wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when in public, indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.”
As soon as CDC announced the new mask guidelines last week, the company announced the following:
“We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately.”
“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,” the company said, adding that it also includes campus offices.
The company added there will be signs at the entrance of every store as well as some areas in the stores that will remind both the workers and the customers to put face coverings.
The company in an official announcement said they will require all their unvaccinated customers to wear masks indoors, but fully vaccinated customers are welcome without masks or face coverings.
“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,” the company stated.
The company still keeps the current mask policy that was changed in May. According to Kroger, the company leadership decided to lift the mask mandate for fully vaccinated customer in May, but masks are required for unvaccinated customers and employees and those who work at on-site pharmacies and clinics. This is the official announcement from the company:
“In light of the Delta variant and updated CDC recommendations, we strongly encourage all individuals, including those who are vaccinated, to wear a mask when in our stores and facilities,” the company said in an update.
What vaccine hesitant people fear the most is the fact that if the spread of the Delta variant doesn’t slow down soon, the situation might come to a point where not a single store, restaurant, pharmacy will offer them service which is completely against the human and civil rights.