Los Angeles Times

Grocery stores seeking masks for 'essential' workers confront shortages, federal interference

The day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in early April advised everyone to cover their faces in public, the co-owner of a small network of grocery stores in Wisconsin logged into Facebook and began a post: "HELP!"

She had been waiting on a shipment of face masks to protect her employees, but, like many grocers' orders, it was delayed. Dedicated patrons sprang into action - within a matter of days they had outfitted all 400 workers with homemade face masks.

Six weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and long after grocery workers were deemed essential,

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