Walmart has added to its worker safety policies as protections for retail and grocery store workers come under greater public scrutiny.
Walmart will begin taking workers' temperatures at stores and warehouses before they begin their shifts. Any employee with a temperature above 100 degrees will be sent home to seek medical treatment, if necessary, but will be paid for showing up.
The retailer will also make medical masks and gloves available for employees who want to wear them. "They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators — which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers," the company said.
The CDC has recommended that healthy people do not need to wear personal protective gear. Still, some workers at Walmart, Amazon warehouses and other chains have expressed concerns that they do not have access to gloves or masks on the job and say they want to wear them.
“If an associate feels more comfortable wearing masks, we want to give them that opportunity to do so,” Dan Bartlett, spokesperson for Walmart, said on a call with reporters.
In Jacksonville, shoppers were seen waiting outside the store on Philips Highway as associates limited the number of people who could go inside.
“In the long run, it does add to your daily routines, but I appreciate it a lot,” said Sarah Siebrandt, who was shopping.
Other stores are doing the same. A Pet Supermarket in Fruit Cove now has a limit of two customers allowed inside. Once inside, customers are asked to remain at the counter while clerks pick up the items desired. Shoppers cannot go into the aisle.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The order tells non-essential businesses to close for a month. Walmart will remain open.