Calling it an easy step to keep customers safe, Walmart Inc. and Sam’s Club will require shoppers to wear masks starting Monday (July 20), per a company announcement.
“While we’re certainly not the first business to require face coverings, we know this is a simple step everyone can take for their safety and the safety of others in our facilities,” said Walmart’s Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith and Lance de la Rosa, chief operating officer at Sam’s Club, in a statement.
“According to the CDC, face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance,” the statement continued.
In addition to front door signs declaring the policy, Walmart said a trained “health ambassador” will be stationed at entrances to remind those without a mask of the new rule.
Today, 65 percent of more than its 5,000 stores and clubs are located in communities where the government has mandated face coverings, the companies said.
“To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering,” Smith and de la Rosa said.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a Virginia-based trade group that promotes consumer choice and economic freedom through public policy, has asked the National Governor’s Association to push for specific and consistent mask mandates.
“The patchwork of local mandates many retailers faced earlier this year made it incredibly difficult to focus on implementing the right safety protocols,” RILA said.
A Goldman Sachs survey found that a national mask law could spare the U.S. economy from suffering a 5 percent tumble in gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of goods produced and services provided in a year, the network reported.
“These calculations imply that a face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5 percent from GDP,” Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, wrote in a note to clients.
“We know some people have differing opinions on this topic,” said Smith and de la Rosa. “We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the Centers for Disease Control.”