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Gelson's, GROW To Require Masks for All Customers

Apr 08, 2020 05:28PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that GROW The Produce Shop will now require customers to wear masks or face coverings while shopping.

In light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Gelson's Market has announced that it will require all customers to wear masks or face coverings, effective Friday, April 10.

Manhattan Beach's independent market GROW has instituted a similar requirement, effective Thursday, April 9.

The new policies come on the heels of a Centers for Disease Control recommendation that the public should wear masks outside. Additionally, Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an order for the city of Los Angeles that all members of the public must wear a mask or face covering when inside grocery stores or essential businesses, effective April 10.

Under Gelson's new policy, no one may enter the store without a mask or face covering. This applies to all of its locations, including Manhattan Beach, and includes employees, all shoppers, and vendors.

"While we are providing extra pay and perks to our employees, we must also do everything we can to keep our employees safe as they continue to serve an essential function in the community," said Gelson's president and CEO Rob McDougall in a statement. "We recognize and thank both our employees and our customers for making sacrifices in their daily lives for the collective safety of our neighborhoods."

Previously, Gelson's had instituted a number of other policies aimed at reducing the spread of the virus, such as banning reusable bags in its stores, requiring employees to wash or sanitize their hands every hour, and installing plexiglass shields at check stands to protect employees.

Last month, Gelson's temporarily closed its Pacific Palisades store for cleaning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

GROW Adds Mask Requirement

GROW made the announcement on Wednesday night in an email to customers that no one will be allowed to shop at GROW unless they are wearing a mask or garment that covers their nose and mouth.

"Our team fills a vital role in our community and their safety is paramount to Kathy and me," said GROW owner Barry Fisher. "Please understand this is also for your family's protection."

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