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Walmart & Sam’s Club to require shoppers to wear face coverings

Coronavirus in Kansas

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KSNW) — Walmart and Sam’s Club will begin requiring all shoppers to wear face coverings in stores starting on Monday, July 20.

The Bentonville-based retailer says this will give the company time to inform customers and members of the change, post signage, and train employees 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,” Walmart said in a release on Wednesday.

“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.”

The company says currently about 65% of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs nationwide are located in areas with some form of government mandate on face coverings.

Along with the new mask mandate, Walmart has created the new role of “Health Ambassador” — employees who will be stationed near store entrances to remind customers of the rule.

“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.”

At Sam’s Club, employees at entrances will follow the same process with members. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member does not have one, or they can be purchased inside 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,” Walmart said in its announcement.

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