Coronavirus: Walmart is giving masks and gloves to its 1.5 million employees
It’s also encouraging regular hand-washing since "masks might provide a false sense of comfort”
Walmart has announced extra measures to protect its staff working through the Coronavirus crisis.
The store said it will screen the temperatures of its workforce; Walmart has 1.5 million employees in the US. Anyone with a temperature over 100 degrees will be sent home.
Staff will also be given masks and gloves.
Anyone who is sent home will be paid and asked to get medical treatment if they need it. They won’t be able to return to work until their temperature has returned to normal.
According to Business Insider, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart, Dan Bartlett, said that Walmart has been "constantly analyzing" the effectiveness of wearing masks and gloves.
According to The Centers for Disease Control, masks are not recommended for healthy people.
But the company decided that both staff and customers would feel more comfortable with if employees had access to masks and gloves,
"If an associate feels more comfortable wearing masks, we want to give them that opportunity to do so," Bartlett said.
He said the company will need seven million masks per week. "We're in constant communication with state and federal government leaders as well as the supply-chain manufacturing community to make sure that the type of volume we would need in order to sustain masks at every store doesn't put undue pressure on the rest of the chain.”
The company also plans to keep encouraging employees to practice frequent hand washing and temperature checks and social distancing, since "masks might provide a false sense of comfort."
Walmart is also considering implementing one-way aisles in its US stores; these are already in operation in Canada and the UK.
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