As Walmart, Sam’s Club and the country continue to deal with the spread of COVID-19, the retailer said it remains focused on the health and safety of its associates. Walmart said it has decided to begin taking the temperatures of its associates as they report to work in stores, clubs and facilities, as well as asking them some basic health screening questions.
The company said it is in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations over the next one to two weeks. Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be sent home, asked to seek medical treatment if necessary, and told to not return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.
Many associates have already been taking their own temperatures at home, and Walmart is asking them to continue that practice in addition to the upcoming on-site check. Walmart noted that its COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they are ill or quarantined, knowing that their jobs will be protected.
Walmart is also sharing more guidance with its associates regarding masks and gloves. While the CDC, Walmart, and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don’t ordinarily use them for their jobs, Walmart will make them available—as supplies permit— for associates who want to wear them. The masks will begin arriving this week. They will not be N-95 respirators, which should be reserved for at-risk health care workers, but they will be high-quality masks.
The company noted that it continues to follow and communicate the CDC’s recommended guidance on behaviors like washing hands, social distancing, and the cleaning of surfaces. And it has made significant operational changes in stores, clubs, distribution centes and fulfillment centers this month, such as closing overnight for cleaning, installing sneeze guards at key transaction points, using wipes and sprayers for carts, putting in signing for social distancing, and implementing a COVID-19 emergency leave policy.