Walmart and Sam’s Club will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20.
“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,” Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club Chief Operating officer Lance de la Rosa wrote in a letter on walmart.com.
“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.”
Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador, someone who will be stationed near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors will be identifiable by their black polo shirts.
To help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance.
Requiring shoppers in all Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs to wear a face covering will “bring consistency across stores and clubs,” executives wrote, and beginning the mandate July 20 will “give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.”
Walmart also realizes some people are not able to wear face coverings.
“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering,” Smith and de la Rosa wrote, noting that persons with certain medical conditions are exempt from the requirement in most jurisdictions. “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.
“We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that face coverings were required in public spaces at the end of June, with some people being exempt from the mandate.
Some exceptions include those with medical conditions that make it difficult to breathe, those with a disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering and some children. Children ages two to nine are encouraged to wear a face mask, while children under the age of two should avoid wearing a face mask due to the risk of suffocation, according to information on the Nevada Health Response’s website.
Walmart executives called face coverings “a simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others” while shopping. Noting the virus can be spread by people who do not have symptoms or even know they are infected, “it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.”
At Sam’s Clubs, associates at the entrance will follow the same process with members, politely reminding them of the requirement to wear a face covering when shopping. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one, or members can purchase masks in the club.