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Walmart will now require all customers to wear a mask in its U.S. stores, according to a Wednesday news release from the company.
At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been at least 3,448,625 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.
What are the details?
In a statement, Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith said that the mandate will go into effect next week.
"To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20," the statement read. "This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage, and train associates on the new protocols."
The company also pointed out that 65% of its stores are located in areas where there is some form of mask-wearing mandate.
The statement added, "While we're certainly not the first business to require face coverings, we know this is a simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others in our facilities."
Stores to add health ambassadors
The company will also implement the new mandate by positioning "health ambassadors" near the stores' entrances to monitor the wearing of masks inside the building.
"Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers," the statement added. "The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirt, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution."
Stores will also have a single entrance for all shoppers.
"We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering," the statement added. "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."
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