Walmart Will Provide Masks And Gloves To Employees

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Walmart will be providing masks and gloves to employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as taking their temperatures before their shifts.

The chain first mentioned this in a call to reporters, according to Business Insider, and said that it would be sending home any employees who have a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They will be asked “some basic health screening questions” before their shifts, according to a Walmart Blog Post.

If they have a temperature, employees will be paid for reporting to work and will be asked not to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days. They will also be asked to asked to seek medical attention where appropriate.

Walmart will give employees up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they contract coronavirus or are forced to quarantine, according to CNBC. If an employee who tests positive is not able to return to work after those two weeks, they can be paid for up to 26 weeks.

Employees in the company’s stores, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers will be subject to this policy, and it could take up to three weeks for thermometers to arrive at these locations. Employees are also being asked to take their temperatures at home in the meantime.

Walmart also confirmed in the blog post that it would be making gloves and masks available to any employees who want them. The company described these as high-quality masks but “not N95 respirators–which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers.”

They also pointed out in the blog post that “the CDC and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don’t ordinarily use them for their jobs” but that some employees would feel more comfortable with the equipment, since their job is public-facing. The masks and gloves are expected to arrive within one-to-two weeks.

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