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Want to bounce into H-E-B for that last-minute item before dinner? You better have a mask handy, because starting on Wednesday the grocery chain will require masks in all stores — no matter if there is an order or not from local officials. 

H-E-B spokeswoman Julie Bedingfield said that the company's priority it to protect its customers and employees, and wearing a mask is a way to do just that. 

On Saturday, an H-E-B employee tested positive for COVID-19 at the company's Sidney Baker Street location. In the San Antonio area, more than 20 H-E-B employees were stricken with the virus on Friday alone. 

"Over 85% of H-E-B stores operate under a local health and safety plan ordinance requiring mask use in our stores," Bedingfield said. "H-E-B will be requiring the use of facial covering in areas which do not operate under an ordinance." 

This includes Kerrville, where signs were going up on Tuesday to tell customers about the new requirements. The stores already have signs that encourage mask use. 

“The CDC, State of Texas, and local health officials strongly urge the use of masks or facial coverings in public spaces as a proven way to slow the spread of the coronavirus," H-E-B spokeswoman Chelsea Thompson said in a statement to television stations across the state. "Many COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic and as Texans helping Texans, we wear masks to keep each other and our families safe.  Social distancing, wearing masks, proper hand washing, and sanitization are all things we do to help keep Texans healthy."

Children and those with medical conditions are exempt from the rule. 

(1) comment

Mary Lou SHELTON

gene here: great news. sanity and science still exist in some quarters.

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