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Walgreens mask policy follows CDC guidelines

Why is Walgreens not requiring masks, when they are offering vaccinations as an authorized medical service provider?

— Kate, via email

What you’re noticing at the drug store is a recently implemented policy that’s only limited to fully vaccinated customers and based on Centers for Disease Control guidance, according to the company.

Effective May 19, the chain no longer requires fully vaccinated customers to wear face coverings inside its stores “unless mandated by state or local regulations,” according to a press release issued by the company announcing the policy change.

Walgreens staff will still wear masks in the store while working, according to the release.

The company says it is following CDC guidelines, which since May 13 have stated that in situations where everyone is fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face masks or social distance.

“The health and safety of our customers and team members will continue to guide our decision process,“ the Walgreens release stated.

CDC, state and local health officials say that a person is fully vaccinated two weeks after getting their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Oregon Health Authority guidelines also changed as of May 19, allowing businesses, workplaces and houses of worship to adjust their mask requirements and allow fully vaccinated people to no longer wear masks at those locations.

“Businesses, employers and faith institutions doing so must have a policy in place to check the vaccination status of all individuals before they enter their establishment,” the Oregon guideline states.

Public places that don’t have policies to check vaccination status must continue the old mask guidelines, according to the state.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com.