Walmart has announced all employees will be required to wear masks or some sort of face-covering at work during the coronavirus pandemic.
They say the policy includes stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as corporate offices.
They are also encouraging customers and members to wear face coverings when they shop.
"We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted. 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."
Walmart said employees can be provided one or they can provide their own as long as it meets certain guidelines. Employees will also be required to pass a health screen and temperature check.
This new policy comes after the store announced they were limiting the number of people allowed inside. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.
Walmart also announced a pickup hour for people most at-risk for COVID-19, first responders, and customers with disabilities.
"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: 6-20-100. Whether at work or elsewhere, practice six feet of social distancing whenever possible. Regularly wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds. And if you have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, stay home."
In addition, the company says it's extending their emergency leave policy through the end of May to ensure employees have support when they need to miss work.