PORTLAND, Ore. — Editor's note: The video above is from April 22 when it was announced someone at a Portland Whole Foods had tested positive for COVID-19 and later died. Another team member also tested positive for the virus.
Whole Foods Market will be providing free disposable masks at the door for any customer who does not already have one to ensure all customers are wearing face coverings while shopping.
Requesting customers to wear face coverings is in an attempt to keep its own team members and the surrounding community safe as everyone tries to get essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes after a Portland Whole Foods team member died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Masks and face coverings do not necessarily protect the wearer from contracting the coronavirus, but it does protect others against the wearer's germs or potential sickness.
If a community workes together to all wear masks, it reduces the number of transmissions. According to the CDC, it is recommended to wear a mask in public settings in order to avoid accidentally transmitting the virus, as carriers can be asymptomatic.
Whole Foods Market is not the first store to request customers wear face coverings. New Seasons and Costco have also requested customers wear masks as they shop.
Whole Foods said in an emailed statement, “As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our Team Members and customers, in addition to requiring everyone working in our stores to wear face masks, over the next week we will begin requesting that all customers wear masks while shopping in our stores. Whole Foods Market will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who do not have their own face covering.”