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Walmart adds to worker safety requirements amid COVID-19’s spread

Walmart is implementing new policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company announced in a release that it was already communicating the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommenced guidance such as hand washing, social distancing and cleaning surfaces, among other steps to keep the stores safe. But the stores are now going even further.

“As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we’ve decided to begin taking the temperatures of our associates as they report to work in stores, clubs and facilities, as well as asking them some basic health screening questions,” a release stated.

The company said it’s in the process of sending infrared thermometers to its locations. The process could take up to three weeks.

Walmart stated, “Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek medical treatment if necessary. The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.”

Many employees have been taking their temperature at home, which Walmart is continuing to ask employees to continue. Employees are also asked to watch for symptoms of the virus as well: “coughing, feeling achy and difficulty breathing,” according to the release.

“Our COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined – knowing that their jobs will be protected,” the release stated.

Walmart is also making masks and gloves available for associates who want to wear them.

“While the CDC and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don’t ordinarily use them for their jobs, we will make them available — as supplies permit — for associates who want to wear them,” the release stated.

These masks are slated to arrive in one to two weeks, according to the March 31 release.

“They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators – which should be reserved for at-risk health care workers,” the release stated. “We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask or gloves at work to ask their supervisor for them, while keeping in mind that it is still possible to spread germs while wearing them.”

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