July 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Walmart and Sam’s Club will require customers to wear masks in their stores beginning Monday.
A joint news release from the two stores said: “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.
“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. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20.”
This will give the stores time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.
“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 news release said.
In addition to posting clear signage at the front of stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of the new requirements. Ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. 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.
To help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance, the news release said.
At Sam’s Clubs, associates at the entrance will follow the same process with members, politely reminding them of our 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.
“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering,” the news release said. “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 know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. 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.”