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Walmart, Sam’s Club to require masks for customers

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 10:59 AM EDT
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(Gray News) - Retail giant Walmart will soon require customers to wear face masks inside its stores.

The company announced the policy will begin July 20 at more than 5,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.

Walmart said 65% of its stores are already located in areas where there is a government face mask mandate.

Company leaders say the policy change comes as they look to prioritize the health and safety of customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart will have an employee dedicated to enforcing the company’s requirements at store entrances.

“The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution,” the company said. “We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20.”

Sam’s Club members who show up without a mask will be provided a complimentary mask.

Here’s the statement from Walmart announcing the change:

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.

As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented. Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.

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 our stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. We are 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, politely reminding them of our requirement to wear a face covering when shopping with us. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one. Or members can purchase masks in the club.

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 our stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. We are 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, politely reminding them of our requirement to wear a face covering when shopping with us. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one. Or members can purchase masks in the club.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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