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Costco updates mask policy, now requires shoppers with medical conditions to wear face shields

Previously, those with medical conditions were not required to wear masks.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Starting Monday, Costco will start requiring employees and customers who are medically exempt from wearing a face mask, to instead wear a face shield. 

The change comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the U.S.

As with the face mask policy that has been in effect at Costco since early May, children under the age of 2 are exempt from the new mandate. 

According to CBS News, the previous policy also gave a pass to members who couldn't wear a face mask due to a medical condition, but "that is no longer the case," Craig Jelinek, Costco's president and CEO, stated Tuesday in a letter to customers.

"This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience," he added. 

The Centers for Disease control says on its website it "does not recommend using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks."

"Face shields have large gaps below and alongside the face, where your respiratory droplets may escape and reach others around you. At this time, we do not know how much protection a face shield provides to people around you. However, wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation for some people," the CDC says.