In an effort to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Walmart employees will soon have their temperatures taken as they arrive to work in an effort to protect customers and fellow co-workers.
In an announcement on Tuesday, March 31, John Furner, CEO, and president, said the temperature checks just another step in the company's effort to follow CDC guidelines such as handwashing in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
"As our company and country continue to deal with the spread of COVID-19, we remain focused on the health and safety of our associates," he said.
Store officials said they are in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations, which could take up to three weeks.
Once they arrive, as employees report to work they will have their temperatures taken, as well as being asked some basic health screening questions.
Any associate with a temperature of 100 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek medical treatment if necessary, Furner said.
The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.
According to store officials, many employees have already been taking their own temperatures at home, and are asking them to continue that practice along with the on-site test.
Walmart's COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows employees to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined – knowing that their jobs will be protected.
In addition to taking temperatures, the company has also ordered gloves and masks for associates who want to wear them.
The masks will arrive in one to two weeks. They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators – which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers, officials said.
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