Walmart will screen the temperatures of its 1.5 million US employees and provide them with masks and gloves

  • Walmart plans to start screening its employees’ temperatures when they report to work, the company said Tuesday.
  • People with temperatures of more than 100 degrees Farenheit will be sent home, and paid for the shift they miss, the company said.
  • The company also said it plans to provide masks and gloves to its employees.
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Walmart will start checking the temperatures of its 1.5 million US employees when they report to work and send home anyone with a temperature greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the company said Tuesday.

Employees who are sent home will be paid for reporting to work and asked to seek medical treatment if necessary, the company said. Employees will not be able to return to work until they are free of a fever.

Walmart also said Tuesday that it plans to provide masks and gloves to all its US employees.

The company has been “constantly analyzing” the effectiveness of wearing masks and gloves, Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart, said on a call with reporters.

The Centers for Disease Control has said masks are not recommended for healthy individuals.

Walmart ultimately decided that both employees and customers would feel more comfortable if employees had access to masks and gloves, Bartlett said.

“If an associate feels more comfortable wearing masks, we want to give them that opportunity to do so,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said the company will need about seven million masks per week for all its employees to have them daily.

“We’re in constant communication with state and federal government leaders as well as the supply-chain manufacturing community to make sure that the type of volume we would need in order to sustain masks at every store doesn’t put undue pressure on the rest of the chain,” Bartlett said.

The company also plans to keep encouraging employees to practice frequent hand washing and temperature checks and social distancing, since “masks might provide a false sense of comfort.”

The temperature screening devices, masks, and gloves will roll out out to Walmart’s stores, clubs, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers within the next three weeks.