Walmart is now requiring its retail workers in areas of the U.S. with substantial or high transmission of coronavirus to wear masks in its stores, clubs and distribution centers, according to The Associated Press.
The nation’s largest retailer is also requiring fully vaccinated employees in areas with high infection rates to mask up, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent reversal on masks. Shoppers are being encouraged to wear masks in stores.
The health agency earlier this week advised that fully vaccinated Americans should wear masks indoors when in areas with substantial and high transmission rates of COVID-19, as recent data has shown vaccinated people could pass on the delta variant just as easily as the unvaccinated, although vaccines are still effective at protecting against severe illness.
“We continue to watch with deep concern the developments of the pandemic and the spread of variants, especially the [Delta] variant,” Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer, wrote in a memo to employees, according to The Associated Press.
“We know vaccinations are our solution to drive change. We are urging you to get vaccinated and want to see many more of you vaccinated,” Morris said.
Walmart is also upping its incentive to $150 to workers who receive the shot, and those who are already vaccinated will receive an additional $75 on their paycheck in August.
The company also announced it will be requiring corporate employees and management-level staff members in the U.S. to be vaccinated by Oct. 4. The mandate excludes frontline workers.
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