July 16 (Reuters) - CVS Health Corp said on Thursday it would require customers to wear face coverings while shopping at its U.S. pharmacies, joining a host of retailers in the country in their push to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retailers including Walmart Inc, Kroger Co and Kohls Corp have already made it compulsory for shoppers to wear masks, which is widely accepted as one the most effective ways to keep the virus in check.
The United States has recorded more that 137,000 deaths related to COVID-19, with cases continuing to surge in many Southern and Western states.
CVS, however, said it was not asking its employees to act as enforcers of the policy, which goes into effect on Monday.
“What we are asking is that customers help protect themselves,” the company said in a statement.
While many companies have recommended masks for months, they were hesitant to make it a requirement over fears of drawing the ire of shoppers, especially after numerous videos posted online showed confrontations between customers and store staff. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)