Even if state and federal governments are reluctant to lay down the law, masks are nonetheless becoming mandatory in most places around Dallas, with big companies installing their own policies including Home Depot, Lowe's, PetSmart, and the Natural Grocers supermarket chain.
These new policies have all been instituted in recent days, as companies take a more proactive position to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Starbucks, as usual, was the first company to step out with a program initiated on July 15. Walmart, Kroger, Target, CVS, and Walgreens quickly followed suit.
Lowe's begins enforcing its new policy for customers on July 20. Employees have been required to wear face masks since May. Home Depot also requires its workers to wear masks and told WTHR that about 85 percent of stores currently require customers to wear masks. Now it's nationwide.
Natural Grocers is also requiring face coverings for customers; their staff has been wearing face coverings since April at all 159 stores located in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, bringing consistency across all Natural Grocers stores.
PetSmart announced its policy effective immediately on July 20. They're requiring employees to wear face coverings or masks, as well as cancelling in-store events and installing plexiglass shields at high-traffic registers.
Home Depot begins mandatory masks on July 22 — reversing a previous policy not to require masks, which it had in place to prevent backlash towards its employees.
"Where they're required by local mandate, we're asking customers to wear masks in our stores through signage and announcements over our PA system," a spokesperson told KUOW. "We have not required stores to police local mandates, because it can be dangerous to put our associates in that position."