2 Walmart employees from a Chicago-area store have died from coronavirus

horecchio@businessinsider.com (Haven Orecchio-Egresitz)
A file photo of a Walmart sign.

REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

  • Two workers at a Chicago-area Walmart store have died from the coronavirus. 
  • The store has "reenforced" its sanitation measures.
  • Neither of the employees had been in the store the week before they died.
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Two associates at the same Chicago-area Walmart have died from the coronavirus, the company announced in a statement.

The employees, who weren't identified, hadn't been in the store the week before their deaths, the company said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that both employees were men, ages 48 and 51, and had underlying medical conditions. The 48-year-old man had diabetes while the 51-year-old man had been diagnosed as morbidly obese, according to a report from the Cook County medical examiner's office, which was viewed by the Tribune.

 "We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of two associates at our Evergreen Park store, and we are mourning along with their families," the company wrote in the statement.  "While neither associate had been at the store in more than a week, we took action to reinforce our cleaning and sanitizing measures, which include a thorough cleaning of key areas of the store with a 3rd party."

The company said that it had already implemented measures across all stores to keep employees safe, like installing sneeze guards at registers, placing social distancing decals on the floors and limiting the number of customers allowed in a store at any given time. 

Last week Walmart also announced that it's in the process of getting all employees masks and gloves, and checking employees temperatures when they arrive to work.

Walmart has said it will send home anyone with a temperature greater than 100 degrees.

With more 1.5 million US employees, Walmart will need about seven million masks per week for all its workers to have them daily, Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart, recently told reporters.

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

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