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Why aren’t stores like Wegmans enforcing New York’s mask mandate? CEO says employee safety, avoiding confrontation is top priority

Why aren’t major retailers like Wegmans, Target, Walmart, or Tops enforcing New York’s mask mandate?

That question was addressed during a press conference on Monday by Colleen Wegman, who serves as CEO of Wegmans.

“Well, let me say this, it’s very very rare to see anyone without a mask today and we are so appreciative of that,” Wegman began after being asked directly about the issue of masking in stores by News10NBC. “Unfortunately, in today’s world, if we were to ask our people to approach an unmasked person that could be unsafe for them. So that’s not something I can ask our people to do.”


Customers voiced frustration about the lack of masking in stores, which runs contrary to Wegman’s claim that most are masking up while visiting stores.

Visit a Wegmans store in Ontario or Wayne counties, and masking is hit-or-miss. Those counties have opted against strict enforcement of the state’s mask requirement.

Visit a Wegmans store in Monroe County and masking is significantly better. The state said it would provide resources to counties willing to enforce the mandate, which comes with a $1,000 per incident fine.


However, customers say they’d like to see staff address it. “Wegmans is a big company, they have a lot of money, they can hire someone at the door to politely ask to mask up and provide a mask like they do at Walmart and maybe some other stores,” one customer told News10NBC.

Here’s the problem, though: Masking is just as inconsistent at those other stores. Especially outside of Monroe County.

At the end of the day, Wegmans position is one of keeping employees out of confrontation over the state’s mask policy.



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