BENTONVILLE, Ark. (CBS Local) — Walmart and Sam’s Club said Tuesday the retailers will begin taking workers’ temperatures at stores and warehouses before they begin their shifts in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“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 presidents and CEOs of Walmart and Sam’s Club said in a joint statement.
“The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days,” they said.
The screening is expected to start within the next three weeks — after facilities receive thermometers.
To better serve our customers and promote a safe and healthy workplace for our associates, we’re taking the following actions in our U.S.-based stores, clubs, and supply chain locations over the next few weeks. https://t.co/HKcVCYtxwn pic.twitter.com/sVKCcrriQW
— Walmart (@Walmart) March 31, 2020
The retailers will also provide masks and gloves to employees who ask — as long as supplies are available.
Walmart waited to secure protective gear to avoid limiting equipment that could go to strained health care workers and hospitals, Walmart spokesperson Dan Bartlett told CNN.
The company will need more than seven million masks each week for its employees, he said. The masks will arrive in 1-2 weeks.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S., with a workforce of approximately 1.5 million associates at more than 5,000 stores and clubs nationwide.