face mask grocery store
FG Trade/E+ via Getty Images

Should You Wear a Face Mask to the Grocery Store?

Yes, and here's why
face mask grocery store
FG Trade/E+ via Getty Images

Wearing a face mask properly when in public is required in some states including Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Private businesses such as Costco and certain airlines also are requiring customers wear a mask. In other places, a face covering is optional — but should you wear one anyway? Health officials say yes.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wear a cloth face covering over your mouth and nose in public settings. This includes the grocery store and pharmacy. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but don’t have symptoms. The only people who should not wear a cloth face covering include those under the age of 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the cover without assistance.

Cloth face masks can be ordered online or made at home using repurposed materials like T-shirts, scarves and bandanas.

That said, a face mask is an added safety measure, not a substitute for social distancing. It’s vital that you stay six feet apart from others at all times, and wash your hands frequently. Although it’s not recommended that you wear gloves to the grocery store, those who do should know that they aren’t recyclable. Neither are masks and other personal protective equipment.

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