Friday, December 1, 2023

If you’re a Fresh Market customer, you might want to wear a face mask when you go grocery shopping

The Fresh Market in Williamsburg is located in the Courthouse Commons shopping center. (Ty Hodges/ WYDaily)

The Fresh Market will require customers to wear some kind of face covering when shopping in its stores starting Tuesday.

The chain grocer said Sunday the decision was made “as a safety precaution and in accordance with guidance from health authorities.”

“The Fresh Market continues to place the safety of their team members and guests as the top priority, and as this situation evolves, has added new policies and protocols following the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization, Food & Drug Administration and local public health authorities,” company officials said in a news release. “Examples include physical distancing guidance throughout the store, reserved hours for guests in higher risk categories, contactless credit card checkout, limiting the number of guests in the store, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols.

Company officials said Fresh Market modified its policy – after the CDC updated face covering guidelines – to require employees to wear a face mask or cloth face covering while working in the store.

The Fresh Market has five locations across the region in Williamsburg, Newport News, Norfolk and two in Virginia Beach.

“In order to help keep our communities safe, wearing face coverings is a necessary measure in public settings where physical separation is difficult,” said James Ball, director of food safety and quality assurance. “There is growing evidence that more individuals than previously thought may be carriers of coronavirus but do not show symptoms of the illness. Wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of the virus by asymptomatic individuals. Since it is impossible to know who may be asymptomatic, it is prudent for everyone to wear a covering. The goal is to reduce the virus transmission to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

An email was sent out to guests on Saturday, in addition to posts on social media. Locations will also have signage outside the store about the new face covering policy and reminding guests to stay two carts (six feet) apart while shopping.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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