Posted by: Moira Ritter, CNN Business
(CNN) — Wal-Mart employees will need to wear masks again in “high or high infection” locations, regardless of vaccination status. The country’s largest retailer said on Friday that the new policy would come into effect soon.
The store manager receives local updates every Monday to determine the protocol required for the facility.
Customers do not need to wear masks, but the facility posts signs to remind them of the new CDC guidelines and strongly recommends the use of masks.
Wal-Mart does not require employees to be vaccinated, but will soon implement a new process to check the status of vaccines and strongly encourage workers to be vaccinated. As part of promoting vaccination, the company offers employees the opportunity to be vaccinated during the hour and offers up to three days of paid leave in response to shots.
In addition, Wal-Mart has doubled its current vaccine incentive to $ 150. Initially, the company provided employees with $ 75 to get vaccinated. Current employees who have been vaccinated and all new employees who have been vaccinated before enrolling in Wal-Mart are eligible for the bonus.
The decision to reinstate Mask’s obligations was made in accordance with updated guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday, with fully vaccinated people indoors in areas with high Covid-19 infection rates. We recommend that you resume wearing the mask. This currently includes almost two-thirds of all counties in the United States.
Wal-Mart first implemented a mandatory mask policy for all shoppers and employees in July 2020. The policy was then abolished in May, following the latest CDC guidance that fully vaccinated individuals are safe without masks in most situations. However, the Delta variant has caused a surge in cases while vaccination rates have been delayed since the CDC’s initial guidance to eliminate mask obligations.
Most other major retailers, including Target, Trader Joe’s, Publix and Costco, also removed their mask obligations in May, but are now reassessing their policies.
According to the new guidance on Tuesday, Publix spokesman Maria Brous said the company was “considering updated CDC guidance” and “providing appropriate policy updates.”
Applying mask rules to customers has been difficult for retailers throughout the pandemic. Employees are often responsible for monitoring customer behavior, and interactions are violent. Last month, a Georgia grocery store clerk was killed by a customer in a dispute over masks.
As the pandemic continues, customers “keep in mind the guidance from local retailers” and “respect employees and their peers who may continue to wear masks for the safety of themselves and their families.” Is required.Of the Retail Industry Leaders Association statement Tuesday.
— CNN Business’s Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.
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Wal-Mart Revives Masking Requirements for Employees in “Highly Infected” Areas – CBS Pittsburgh
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