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FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Walmart, Sam’s Club Join Businesses Requiring Face Masks At All Stores

FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Retail giant Walmart is the latest company to announce it will be requiring its customers to wear face coverings when entering stores.

The new policy will begin July 20.

Walmart’s COO Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club’s COO Lance de la Rosa released a joint statement Wednesday noting that the company’s “focus and priority has been and continues to be on the health and safety of our associates, members and customers.”

According to the statement, approximately 65% of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations are in areas with mask mandates already, and the new policy will bring consistency across stores.

“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,” the statement reads. “According to the CDC, face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.”

Locations will have Health Ambassadors who will receive special training “to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers.” Those associates will be identified by their black polo shirts, and they will work with customers who do not have face coverings, according to the statement.

“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering,” the COOs wrote. “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.”

Starbucks recently announced that it too will be requiring customers to wear masks in locations where the cafe is open. Harmons Grocery Stores made masks mandatory in June, and Costco has had its mask policy in place since April.

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