Coronavirus: Walmart to take workers’ temperatures, provide gloves and masks

COVID-19: What older adults need to know about the outbreak and staying healthy

(Gray News) - Walmart announced Tuesday it would start taking employees’ temperatures as they reported to work, as part of its safety requirements amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Walmart’s policy already asks workers to self-monitor for symptoms of the coronavirus and not come to work if they don’t feel well.
Walmart’s policy already asks workers to self-monitor for symptoms of the coronavirus and not come to work if they don’t feel well. (Source: Walmart corporate website)

John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., and Kath McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, said via news release that the company was in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations, which could take up to three weeks.

"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,' they stated. “The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.”

The company’s policy already asks workers to self-monitor for symptoms of the virus and not come to work if they don’t feel well.

“Our COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined – knowing that their jobs will be protected,” they said.

Workers also would be given the option to wear masks and gloves as available.

“The masks will arrive in 1-2 weeks,” they stated. "They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators, which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers.

“We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask or gloves at work to ask their supervisor for them, while keeping in mind that it is still possible to spread germs while wearing them.”

Previous changes from the nation’s largest employer included closing at nights for extra cleaning and the installation of sneeze guard plexiglass at pharmacies and checkout lines. Those are in addition to recommending well known standards of 6 feet of social distancing and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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