Walmart closes London store for COVID cleaning, employees can earn bonus
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Walmart is temporarily closing its London, Ky., store at 1851 Highway 192 W as part of a company-initiated program to allow third-party cleaning crews time to thoroughly clean and sanitize the building.
The location will remain closed through August 7, providing, store personnel time to restock shelves and prep the store to reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 8.
The decision comes as outbreaks spread in that community and Laurel County recorded an incidence rate above 70% Thursday, giving it one of the highest rates among “red” counties in the state.
The company issued the following statement about the closure:
“As an essential business and a member of the London, KY community, we understand the role we play in providing our customers with food, medicine and other essential items, especially at this time.
“As you know, several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, mainly in regions with low vaccination rates, and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic. As part of this effort, we have chosen to temporarily close our London store location at 1851 Highway 192 W as part of a company-initiated program. This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community. We plan to reopen the store to customers at 6 a.m. on August 8.
“Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and the thousands of customers we serve daily, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and health experts. Given the rise in positive cases through the Delta variant, we will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission.
“In these counties and where there are state or local mask mandates, associates will be required to wear masks inside our facilities, including stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. You can find the county-by-county breakdown here. The CDC updates its data on transmission rates weekly, so the guidance on mask usage is likely to change over time in different locations.
“When the store reopens Sunday, we will continue conducting associate health assessments, and all unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings.
“In addition to offering COVID-19 vaccines to customers through walk-in or online appointments, we’re also offering easy access to vaccines for associates. Associates can receive their vaccinations at their home store pharmacy, on or off the clock,
“Should associates choose to schedule their vaccinations elsewhere, we will provide two hours of paid leave. Associates who receive the vaccine are given a $150 bonus for doing so and up to three days paid leave, should they experience and adverse reaction to the vaccine.
“These protocols and convenient access to vaccinations are in addition to the extensive measures we’ve put in place during the pandemic to help protect our associates and customers. We will continue working closely with elected and local health officials, adjusting how we serve the community while also keeping the health and safety of our customers and associates in mind,” concluded the statement from Ashley Nolan, Walmart Global Communications Senior Manager.