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Walmart will start taking employees’ temperatures and let them wear masks

Walmart will begin taking workers' temperatures at stores and warehouses before they begin their shifts. Any employee with a temperature above 100 degrees will be sent home to seek medical treatment, if necessary, but will be paid for showing up.The retailer will also make medical masks and gloves available for employees who want to wear them. "They will be high-quality masks, but not N95 respirators — which should be reserved for at-risk healthcare workers," the company said.The CDC has recommended that healthy people do not need to wear personal protective gear. Still, some workers at Walmart, Amazon warehouses and other chains have expressed concerns that they do not have access to gloves or masks on the job and say they want to wear them. "If an associate feels more comfortable wearing masks, we want to give them that opportunity to do so," Dan Bartlett, spokesperson for Walmart, said on a call with reporters Tuesday. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a nationwide face-mask shortage and even hospitals are struggling to get supplies. Walmart waited to secure protective gear to avoid limiting equipment that could go to strained health care workers and hospitals, Bartlett said. The company will need more than seven million masks each week for its employees, he said. The first shipment will arrive in one to two weeks.Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States, with a workforce of around 1.5 million and 4,700 US stores. The company's decision may influence other chains' policies on masks and temperature screenings.Walmart (WMT), Amazon (AMZN), grocery stores and other retailers staying open during the crisis are under enormous pressure to balance meeting customer demand with protecting their workforce. On Monday, a group of warehouse workers at Amazon and Instacart workers who fulfill grocery orders staged protests calling for their companies to improve safety protections, pay and benefits during the coronavirus crisis. A group of Whole Foods workers has called for a "sick out" Tuesday over similar concerns. Amazon owns Whole Foods.Walmart says it is taking "prudent" steps to protect workers, according to Bartlett.In recent weeks, Walmart and other large retailers have also installed sneeze guards at checkout and pharmacies and signs with instructions on social distancing. The company has shRead More – Source

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