Going shopping for groceries and other necessities is one of the few reasons to go out during this COVID-19 inspired stay-at-home declaration. It’s also one of the more dangerous if you don’t wear a mask and practice social distancing.
At Walmart and Sam’s Club, they’re working to make it as safe as they can. So, after putting in policies to provide masks and face coverings to workers, checking their temperatures on the way into work and limiting the number of shoppers in stores at one time, the store chain has added another step: requiring that associates wear masks or other face coverings at work.
This includes in stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as in corporate offices. Customers and members will also be encouraged to wear face coverings while shopping.
“We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted,” a release from Walmart and Sam’s Club CEOs John Furner and Kath McLay read. “The CDC now recommends wearing face coverings in public settings, including grocery stores, to help curb the spread of the virus. Although most state and local governments do not mandate the use of face coverings in public settings, the CDC has reported that recent studies show a significant portion of individuals with the virus lack symptoms and can transmit the virus. With this knowledge, we believe it is simply in everyone’s best interest to use masks or face coverings to curb the spread of this disease.”
“We hope this step will promote safety and consistency across all of our facilities and be of comfort to our customers and members. However, it’s important to remember that face coverings are simply an additional health precaution. They do not guarantee against the spread of this virus, and they do not replace the most important steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe (six-foot rule, 20-second hand washing, staying home with a temperature of 100).”
Walmart also announced it has extended its emergency leave policy through the end of May to ensure sick employees will have the coverage to miss work.