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Kroger Keeping Mask Requirements Despite Some States Relaxing Rules

One of the nation's largest grocery retailers is sticking with its requirement that employees and customers wear face coverings. That's despite states like Texas dropping mask mandates.

Governors in Texas and Mississippi eliminated statewide mask mandates this week, but Cincinnati-based Kroger says you'll still need to wear a face covering in its stores. It initiated the requirement July 22.

In a statement, Kroger says it's keeping its nationwide face-covering requirement until all of its "frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine."

The company is also pushing state and federal officials to prioritize grocery workers for the vaccine and offering a $100 incentive for employees to get vaccinated.

Kroger operates more than 2,700 grocery stores in 35 states under such banners as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Dillions, and Harris Teeter.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.