Cochrane Walmart will be following Walmart Canada Corporation's direction and making masks mandatory for all customers and associates in the Walmart store network.
The local Walmart manager was unavailable for comment, however a written release from Corporate Affairs Manager, Felicia Fefer explained the reasoning behind the move. She sights safety as the primary objective behind the direction. Fefer also pointed out, "In addition, over 60 percent of our more than 400 stores are in regions of the country where there is some form of local government mandate on face coverings." So, the matter of consistency across the country came into play.
Therefore, as of Wednesday, August 12, 2020, Cochrane Walmart will be asking all customers and employees to mask-up in areas of the stores accessible to the public
The added safety precaution will be on top of the already diligent health protocols that are being carried out including:
- Increased cleaning throughout the stores
- Wellness checks that include temperature checks for all associates at the start of each shift
- Limiting the number of customers shopping in the sore at one time
- Cleaning shopping carts
- Encouraging regular handwashing and regular cleaning of work areas (including checkouts)
- Installation of plexiglass partitions at registers, customer service desks, and pharmacies
- Introducing floor markings and one-way aisles to help with physical distancing
The next question that comes into play is since Walmart is such a large player in the retail industry will other company's be following their lead? It will remain to be seen if the retail giant's across the board move will apply pressure on other retailers to mandate the wearing of masks as well. With the constantly changing landscape of the pandemic only time will tell and for now, be sure to have your mask with you when you head to Walmart.