Winn-Dixie encouraging, but not requiring face masks

While many grocery and drug stores will require customers to wear face masks starting next week, Winn-Dixie stores will only “encourage” masks, according to a statement from the Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company.

“Currently, we are adhering to all local safety mandates within each of our stores and strongly encouraging those who are medically able to wear a face covering to do so,” stated Joe Caldwell, Southeastern Grocers director of corporate communications.

Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Apple Store, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Verizon, Kohl’s, Starbucks, Sams Club and Costco have all announced plans for mask requirements.

The Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control encourage everyone to wear cloth face masks in public, especially in places where it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of social distance with others.

According to the CDC, the virus is most commonly spread in the droplets of moisture that leave the mouth and nose when you talk, cough or sneeze. The cloth face covering catches those droplets of moisture so they don’t land on other people.

Your mask protects others; their masks protect you.

In a July 12 interview on “Face the Nation,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said wearing face masks helps slow the spread of the virus. If enough people wear masks, the spread of the virus could be significantly reduced in just a few weeks, he explained.

“The disease course is about two weeks. So while we’re seeing cases rise, we can see cases go down just as quickly if the American people will do the things that we know slow the spread of this disease, including wearing a face covering. Critically important for people to know, COVID stops with me. We have the power to turn this thing around.

“We’ve learned more about asymptomatic spread up to 50 percent of people who can spread this disease, spread it without having symptoms. And that’s why the American people need to know that science is about giving the best recommendations you can and when you learn more, you change those recommendations. Our recommendations have changed.

“Now, people of America, important to know you should wear a face covering when out in public,” he continued.

“The disease course is about two to three weeks. So just as we’ve seen cases skyrocket, we can turn this thing around in two to three weeks if we can get a critical mass of people wearing face coverings, practicing at least 6 feet of social distancing, doing the things that we know are effective,” he explained.

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