Walmart employees will be required to wear face masks to work starting Monday, April 20. This development was contained in a memo sent to all workers by Walmart President and CEO John Furner. Sam’s Club is also mandating all employees to begin wearing face masks as well, as mandated by company President and CEO Kath McLay. This move is in furtherance of the companies’ efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 among employees and shoppers.
“We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted,” Furner and McLay stated jointly. “The CDC now recommends wearing face coverings in public settings, including grocery stores, to help curb the spread of 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.”
The mandatory wearing of face masks is extended to all offices, clubs, stores, fulfillment and distribution centers of the organizations. Although the stores will provide face masks to workers, employees are also encouraged to wear their own masks if they are good enough; and customers are also urged to do the same if they come to shop at the stores.
Before instituting the compulsory wearing of masks, Walmart earlier this month began to limit the number of shoppers in stores around the country. The numbers of shoppers are reduced to 20% of the usual crowd, and once that capacity is reached, other shoppers will be allowed in on a one-out-one-in basis.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan exempted grocery stores from those to be locked down since they are considered essential services. And Walmart hired more staff to be able to cope with the increased numbers of shoppers that patronized its stores since the coronavirus lockdown began. Gov. Whitmer also urged everyone going outside of their houses to use face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 while emphasizing that people must go out of their houses only when it is absolutely necessary.