In a letter sent to employees on Friday obtained by Scripps National, Walmart said it is requiring associates to wear face coverings while at work starting on Monday.
Walmart said that associates will have the option of using their own face covering, or use one provided by the company. This requirement applies to workers in all stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers and corporate offices. The edict also affects Sam’s Club employees as well.
Walmart told employees that the company will encourage customers to wear masks while shopping. but is not requiring customers to wear them unless required by state law.
Walmart said that exceptions to the policy will be made based on local laws and individual health needs.
On April 3, the CDC updated guidance that now recommends the public wear masks while in public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC's guidance stressed several points: That wearing a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, and that the public should not use medical or surgical masks. The recommendations suggest the public should use fabric or cloth that covers the mouth and nose.
"The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission," the CDC said.