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Walmart begins requiring all customers to wear face masks

Walmart shoppers wear masks as protection against the coronavirus as they shop in a Walmart Supercenter in Burbank, California, USA, 15 July 2020. The retailer announced it will require customers nationwide to wear face masks inside their stores beginning 20 July to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Walmart to require face masks, Burbank, USA - 15 Jul 2020 Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock via CNN (10712816l)

    (CNN) — Walmart on Monday began requiring customers at all of its US stores to wear masks, becoming the largest retailer to mandate facial coverings as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

About 65% of Walmart’s more than 5,000 stores, including its Sam’s Club locations, are located in areas where there is a 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,” Walmart US chief operating officer Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club chief operating officer Lance De La Rosa said in a blog post last week. “This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.”

Although no federal mandate to wear a mask exists, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says everyone “should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.” The CDC said “face coverings are meant to protect other people.”

Walmart said it will enforce the new policy on masks by stationing “health ambassadors” near the entrance to remind shoppers of the requirement.

Other national chains have made similar moves as Walmart. Kroger and Kohl’s announced they would start requiring all customers to wear masks, signaling that more retailers are lining up behind mask-wearing mandates. The National Retail Federation, the main lobbying group for the industry, also called on retailers to require masks for customers.

Most major retailers and grocers initially hesitated to enact their own mask mandates for customers during the pandemic, partly over fears of antagonizing shoppers who refuse to wear them. Retailers have said they are reluctant to put their employees in the position of enforcing mask requirements.

The-CNN-Wire
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How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States