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Walmart will require masks on customers starting Monday

ap photo In this March 31 file photo, a woman pulls groceries from a cart to her vehicle outside of a Walmart store in Pearl, Miss. Walmart became a lifeline to millions of people as the coronavirus spread, and its profit and sales surged during the first quarter, topping almost all expectations.

Starting Monday, all customers will be required to wear masks in Walmart across the country, including the one in Marshalltown.

Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith made the announcement on Wednesday in the Walmart blog.

“As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented,” Smith wrote. “Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.”

Smith wrote it is a simple step everyone can take for their personal safety and the safety of others while in a Walmart store.

“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,” he wrote.

In addition to posting clear signage at the front of stores, Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassador who will be stationed near the entrance to remind incoming customers of the mask requirement. Ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible. Ambassadors will wear black polo shirts and will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.

To help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance.

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