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NEW Facemask / Face Shield Requirement at Costco Worldwide & Priority Access

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to remind everyone that starting Monday, November 16, 2020, Costco is now requiring all members, guests and employees to wear a face mask or face shield at Costco locations.  Entry to Costco will only be granted to those wearing a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt.

The new policy can be found here:  https://www.costco.ca/coronavirus-response.html

The CEO of Costco has explained their justification in the following letter:

Dear Costco Member,

Effective Nov. 16, 2020, we will require all members, guests and employees to wear a face mask or face shield at Costco locations. Entry to Costco will only be granted to those wearing a face mask or face shield. Children under the age of 2 are exempt.

Costco has had a face mask policy in effect since May 2020, but members who could not wear a mask due to a medical condition were exempt. This is no longer the case. If a member has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield at Costco.

This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience. Our goal is to continue to provide a safe shopping environment for our members and guests, and to provide a safe work environment for our employees.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Craig Jelinek
President and CEO, Costco Wholesale

from https://www.costco.ca/coronavirus.html

FYI, Costco is still running it’s Priority Access for Healthcare Workers and First Responders and Special Operating Hours for Members Ages 60 or Older.  The policies can be found here: https://www.costco.ca/coronavirus-response.html

Priority Access for Healthcare Workers and First Responders

  • Costco is temporarily allowing priority access to our warehouses for Costco members who are healthcare workers and first responders such as police officers, EMTs and firefighters. Healthcare workers (which include Pharmacists and all hospital employees with a hospital ID) and first responders who present a Costco membership card and official identification of their role, will be allowed to move to the front of any line to enter the warehouse.

Special Operating Hours for Members Ages 60 or Older

  • Effective November 2, 2020, Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Costco will temporarily implement special operating hours for members who are 60 and older or who have a physical disability.

Written by Costco West

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  1. If you have a lung condition, the LAST THING you should be doing is going out in public without a mask.
    A mask does not affect pulse/ox levels.
    Pretty much the only “medical excuse” that should be accepted as valid is trigeminal neuralgia or a similar pain syndrome that prevents anything from being on your face.
    If anxiety or panic or PTSD is the issue, it has been recommended that you practice wearing the mask at home for short periods of time in low pressure situations to become used to it.
    If you just can’t, then get your groceries delivered or have someone else do your shopping. I have only left the house about ten times since this began. I’m not exaggerating. Including drive through runs. I’m just about losing my mind. But better that than my life.

  2. People are just making things up saying they have a medical condition preventing them from wearing the mask or faceshield. While *some* may have a bonafide medical condition, it’s extremely rare they can’t wear either. In most cases, if they suffer from breathing issues it’s due to psychological reasons eg. panic attacks. However, for the most part, as shown in the US where Costco has had this policy since the pandemic started, they’re making things up.

    Costco BC says they will provide a faceshield (free of charge) to customers who have a physician’s note that they can’t wear a mask.

    It would be so much easier and better for everyone if BC mandated masks but as the retail association and many others have said, BC’s top doctor appears to have an aversion to mandating masks.

  3. The only possible medical reason for not wearing a mask is if you have a respiratory condition, but there is no scientific evidence supporting the notion that wearing a mask prevents you from getting enough oxygen or it causes a build-up of carbon dioxide.

    Lung Association Of Canada
    “People, including those with lung disease, are encouraged to wear a face mask when physical distancing is not possible. There is no evidence that wearing a face mask would worsen your lung condition.”
    https://www.lung.ca/sites/default/files/Facemask_infosheetENFINAL%20%281%29.pdf

    Canadian Thoracic Society
    (healthcare professionals and researchers specializing in respirology)
    “Our advice to all citizens, including patients with underlying lung disease, is to wear a face mask in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. We recognize that wearing a face mask may not be possible for some people, but their lung disease would rarely be the cause of this. Despite your best efforts, if you cannot wear a face mask consider using alternatives . . . (such as face shields) or avoiding circumstances where physical distancing is not possible.”
    https://cts-sct.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CTS-Public-Response-Face-Masks.pdf

    If wearing a mask were really that harmful or useless, I’m sure this would come as a shock to healthcare workers who wear medical-grade masks for hours at a time on a regular basis. They are beyond exhaustion doing everything they can to save people – but are you doing everything you can? Does it really put you out that much to simply don a mask and protect those around you? What this is really all about is the subjective discomfort of wearing a mask because most people aren’t used to wearing them. So tell me, what is more important – your personal comfort or the safety of those who are close to you?

  4. For those who don’t like Costco’s policy, they can always shop at Save On Foods. I hear they’re a favorite with those who don’t take this pandemic seriously.

  5. Of all the people who I have heard they are “going to cancel their membership” won’t do it.. What do you expect costco to do? You sign up for a membership means that you follow their rules. You are on private property, they can do or make any rules they want. Don’t want to wear a mask or shield, then stay home and have someone else do your shopping. If you are exempt from wearing PPE, then you should probably not be out shopping to begin with!

  6. Sorry to hear that James and I also feel you and understand your health condition; however, this act is critical for all Canadians and saves lives if this helps to reduce the spread. Let’s work together as a team.

  7. Good to hear, and I hope that it will be enforced once people are in the store. I would assume that you have looked at all legal avenues with regards to this policy, as there is definitely going to be those anti-masker/conspiracy theorists who will be screaming that their rights are being violated. I know someone that shops there regularly and has a mask exemption card she bought online, that she flashes where ever she goes, as she doesn’t believe that masks help.

  8. Considering whats happening with the spreading of this virus Im surprised this mask policy was not enforced earlier. The fact that some people are threatening to shop elsewhere because they dont want to wear masks/ face shields is ridiculous.This policy will be enforced across all shopping locations in Alberta not just at Costco. People need to grow up or stay home!

  9. As a person with a medical exemption I’m disappointed Costco will not allow me in the store without a mask/face shield. I will no longer support Costco by shopping here anymore.

  10. So many people sent you messages and made comments on your site earlier in the week about the new mask/face shield policy but you refused to approve those posts. Now you have created two posts reminding everyone.

    Did your spam filters delete those posts or did you just choose not to approve for some unknown reason?

    • Hi CEMP, good question. I did see the comments; however, I purposely did not approve them until I was able to confirm. When it comes to a controversial policy change like the this, I always want to make sure I can confirm this, either in person or posted on the Costco website. The earliest I was able to confirm the policy was this Friday, which is the same day the Costco Coronavirus page was updated with the updated mask policy.

      I endeavour to keep this website factual and to minimize speculation. Sometimes this means that I have to delete or hold comments for moderation until facts can be verified. Since I don’t work for Costco and this is just a fan blog, this may result in delayed news.

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