Walmart has begun requiring store, distribution and fulfillment center associates to wear masks at both its Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in another effort to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Employees can bring their own masks or they’ll be provided with one after passing a daily health screen and temperature check. The company is also encouraging consumers to wear them.
“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,” said John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S., and Kath McLay, president and CEO, Sam’s Club, in a statement. “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.”
In addition to extending its emergency leave policy through the end of May for associates who miss work because of COVID-19-related issues, the company has committed to hiring an additional 50,000 new employees. This is on top of the 150,000 it’s hired since its initial commitment a month ago.
Hires will primarily be temporary associates in such roles as cashiers, stockers, personal shoppers, fillers and pickers. The company also intends to add more fleet drivers.
“Of the associates hired, approximately 85% are being hired into temporary or part-time roles,” said Donna Morris, Walmart executive vice president and chief people officer. “While many of these associates want temporary employment that serves as a bridge during this time, we also expect others to convert to permanent roles.”