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Walmart to require associates wear masks or other face coverings

Walmart will now require all associates and office employees to wear a face mask while at work.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — On Friday (April 17), Walmart announced it would begin requiring associates to wear masks or other face coverings at work. 

Walmart will be providing the masks for employees, which will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators.

The world's largest retailer is also encouraging customers to wear face coverings when shopping at their stores. 

Walmart made face masks available for stores in parts of the country with elevated cases, such as the New Orleans areas, earlier this month.

In March, Walmart announced it would be closing stores overnight for cleaning, and to install sneeze guards at checkout and pharmacies, putting in signing for social distancing and implementing a COVID-19 emergency leave policy. 

RELATED: Walmart announces additional steps for worker safety, will take associates' temperatures

Additionally, associates at stores are having their temperatures taken. Walmart announced it would be sending infrared thermometers to all locations, which should be arriving mid-April. 

Any associate that has a temperature of 100.0 degrees is being paid for reporting to work and sent home to seek treatment, and is not allowed to return until fever-free for at least three days. 

Though the CDC does not recommend gloves for healthy people who do not ordinarily use them, Walmart has made them available for associates to wear. 

RELATED: Gloves are meant for health care workers not grocery shopping, doctors say

Social distancing will be promoted at Walmart stores and offices until the CDC gives further guidelines. 

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