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Walmart, Sam’s Club Will Require Shoppers To Wear Face Coverings

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Walmart and Sam’s Club say they will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. In a website posting by Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club COO Lance de la Rosa on July 15, the companies cited spikes in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in communities across the country and the increase in government mandates on face coverings as reasons behind the decision. Walmart face coverings

The posting said about 65 percent of the more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of mandate on face coverings.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus and priority has been and continues to be on the health and safety of our associates, members and customers,” the posting states. “…While we’re certainly not the first business to require face coverings, we know this is a simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others in our facilities. According to the CDC, face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.

In addition to posting clear signage at the front of its stores, Walmart has created the role of health ambassador. They will be stationed near the entrance to remind those without a mask of the new requirements. The ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. Identifiable by their black polo shirts, the ambassadors will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.

Walmart says it is currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20.

To help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance.

At Sam’s Clubs, associates at the entrance will follow the same process with members, reminding them of the requirement to wear a face covering. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one or members can purchase masks in the club.

“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone,” the posting states. “As we have seen in states and municipalities with mask mandates, virtually everyone either brings a mask or readily complies with the requirement, and we anticipate that to happen in other areas as well.

“We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates.”

Sam’s Club is owned by Walmart.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company recently took a step toward reaching its goal of zero net deforestation goal. See story, here.

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