As of Monday, April 20, all U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club employees are required to wear face coverings, according to a corporate memo issued on Friday night. The American retailer has put the standard in place to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Since Walmart is an essential business, employees have continued to work at their local store, and they come in contact with shoppers and employees every day.
The corporation hopes that this step will aid in preventing employees from contracting the disease.
The memo was written by John Furner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart U.S., and Kath McLay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sam’s Club. It was addressed to the company’s employees, saying:
Starting Monday, you’ll be required to wear a face covering at work. You can provide your own as long as it meets certain guidelines, or we will provide you with one as you pass your associate health screen and temperature check. We’re also aware there may need to be exceptions to this policy based on local laws and individual health needs.
All employees are required to wear face coverings, including those who work in stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as in corporate offices. As per the memo, Walmart will also be encouraging shoppers to wear face coverings.
The executives also announced that Walmart is extending their emergency leave policy through the end of May.
Walmart Has Implemented Guidelines Coined ‘6-20-100’
The executives reminded their employees that face coverings are only an additional health precaution. The memo stated: “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. ”
Walmart has implement the 6-20-100 rule for their employees:
Six feet is the amount of space people should keep from others, when possible, to maintain social distancing. Twenty seconds is the amount of time people should take to wash their hands with soap and water. And 100 is the temperature that someone should stay home with.
Walmart Cites the CDC for Their Reasoning to Mandate Face Coverings
Walmart has made it a requirement for employees to wear face coverings because of the change in recommendation from the CDC. The CDC recommends that all Americans wear face coverings when they are out in a public setting and social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
As grocery stores typically have narrow aisles, individuals may end up breaking the CDC’s social distancing guidelines of a minimum of six feet. Walmart has heeded the CDC’s advice, and the memo stated:
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.