Costco is taking some extra measures in an effort to stop the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19. This week, the company announced on its website that customers will be required to wear face masks or coverings at all of their stores moving forward.
“To protect our members and employees, effective May 4, all Costco members and guests must wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while at Costco. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition,” the company said in a statement.
“The use of a mask or face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing. Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”
Costo has also removed seating from the food court areas and is limiting its food options. Customers must also pack their own bags if they wish to bring their own reusable shopping bags into the store.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 56,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.