Costco Still Has These 4 Rules Amid the Delta Variant Spread
The rising number of COVID-19 cases thanks to the Delta variant is taking over the country a year and a half after the initial spread led to closures and lockdowns. Some of America's favorite fast-food chains have either closed their dining rooms or are thinking about it. Grocery stores are seeing shoppers panic buy essentials like toilet paper, snacks, and water and it's leading to shortages. They also still have safety measures in place—with some updates.
Costco was a mega hotspot to get all the essentials needed to stay at home when lockdowns started, and the warehouse chain quickly added policies to keep employees and customers safe as they shop. The official list was just updated at the end of August, and below is everything you need to know about the rules that are still in place.
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Face mask requirements depend on the state.
When the CDC announced its updated face mask recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated people in May, Costco followed Trader Joe's and other major grocery store chains and dropped the requirement for all customers.
However, now the warehouse giant says that "Costco locations will follow the face mask regulations of the applicable state and local jurisdictions," noting that "In communities where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial, per current CDC guidance, Costco strongly recommends that all members and guests wear face masks inside our locations."
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Product limits are in place.
While Costco's COVID-19 Updates page says that "Some warehouses may have temporary item limits on select items," members have discovered a dozen items that fall under this rule. Things like diapers, protein shakes, coffee, toilet paper, paper towels, and more are included. It's unclear how long they will last, but Costco usually places this kind of restriction on items that are included in sales events in addition to in-demand items.
Costco still has Special Operating Hours.
Back in June Costco quietly announced that it would be ending the five-day-a-week Special Operating Hours on July 26. However, a few short weeks later the number of COVID-19 cases started to go up again, and the chain backtracked slightly.
Instead of Monday through Friday, members who are over 60 years old, those with disabilities, those who are immunocompromised, healthcare workers (including pharmacists and all hospital employees with a hospital ID), and first responders (police officers, EMTs, and firefighters) would be able to have the warehouse to themselves twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This COVID-19 rule hasn't changed, even with the Delta variant running rampant across the country.
Related: 10 Grocery Store Safety Tips From a Health Expert
The Costco food court is open.
The food court has remained open with a limited menu for months (we miss you, combo pizza!), and the recently updated Costco COVID-19 rules page says that the menu selection still varies by location. Some items have made their way back onto the board, but some members aren't fans.
Right in the thick of lockdowns members couldn't sit and snack in or outside of the warehouse. That changed earlier this year when Costco put back some of the picnic tables. These are smaller and more spaced out now, and the chain confirms it on the site, saying that "Seating may be limited."
For more info about what's happening at the warehouse in your neighborhood, check out: