Smith’s announces update to store mask policy

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Kroger Family of Companies’ most urgent priority has been the safety of our associates and customers. We have adhered to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marc Watkins and listened to our associates and customers to guide our policies. 

Last week, the CDC issued new guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated. We have received feedback from and heard the valued opinions of thousands of associates regarding the CDC’s announcement. Based on the CDC’s science-based guidance and the input of our associates, we are updating our mask policy in a way that balances our values of safety and respect. 

  • Starting May 20, fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated associates no longer need to wear a mask in our facilities, including stores, distribution centers, plants, and offices, unless otherwise required by state or local jurisdiction. If there is a state or local mandate, we will adhere to that requirement and its timeline. 
  • Non-vaccinated associates will be required to wear a mask. 
  • Associates in our pharmacy and clinic locations will be required to continue wearing a mask due to the CDC’s guidance for healthcare settings.
  • We request that non-vaccinated customers continue to wear a mask. 
  • And we will continue to respect the choice of individuals who prefer to continue to wear a mask. 

We will continue to implement enhanced cleaning and physical distancing across all facilities as well as offer associates a $100 one-time payment for receiving the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. We also encourage customers to visit to make an appointment. Many pharmacies are also accepting walk-in appointments for added convenience.

Every step of the way, our most urgent priority has been the health and safety of our associates and customers, and we have consistently leveraged expert guidance and associate and customer feedback to guide our decisions. That focus continues today as we look ahead to a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger’s Chief Medical Officer