El Paso Walmart defies mask mandate, corporate responds

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Local Walmart stores are defying the city’s mask mandate as El Paso continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases.

KTSM received photos and reports from shoppers at Walmart on Yarbrough and Gateway West, who said employees told them the store was not enforcing the mandatory mask order because Walmart is a privately-owned company.

The City’s mandate stipulates that people must wear protective face masks when out in public — such as a grocery store — to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Adding to the confusion over why local Walmart stores would not comply with the city’s order, the CDC recommends that masks be worn in all public settings — again, like a grocery store. 

Walmart’s corporate office is encouraging El Pasoans to comply with the city and the CDC, despite what employees might say.

“Maintaining customer and associate safety remains our top priority,” Casey Staheli, Senior Manager of National Media Relations at Walmart, told KTSM.

“We encourage customers to be especially mindful of one another during this unprecedented time and adhere to recommendations that we all use face coverings while in public spaces.”

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