A Treasure Valley Walmart will close its doors for nearly two days to “clean and sanitize the building” and allow employees time to restock store shelves, according to a news release from Walmart officials.
The Meridian Walmart at 5001 N. Ten Mile Road will close Monday at 2 p.m. and will remain closed on Tuesday before reopening at 6 a.m. Wednesday, officials said. The closure is COVID-19-related, but Walmart gave only vague details on what prompted the decision to shutter the store.
Tyler Thomason, a spokesperson for Walmart’s corporate office, said in an email that the closure was determined by “a team at the Home Office that evaluates criteria related to stores and the communities we serve.
“When that data reaches certain thresholds, we make the decision to get ahead of the situation and proactively close the store for cleaning and sanitizing,” Thomason said.
He declined to share any information about a possible COVID-19 outbreak tied to the location, citing personnel privacy. Instead, Thomason said Walmart is “working with any affected associates so they have the time needed to get well.“ A spokesperson for Central District Health, which oversees public health in Ada County, told the Statesman the agency did not have information regarding case counts or a possible outbreak tied to the store.
In a statement, Walmart officials said a third-party company will clean the store. It also said the closure will allow Walmart employees time to restock shelves.
“As you know, several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic,” the company said of the Meridian store closure.
Walmart officials also said unvaccinated employees are required to wear face coverings at work, and the company is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urges all people, including those who are vaccinated, to wear masks in public indoor spaces in areas with high transmission of COVID-19.
All of Idaho is considered a high-transmission area, according to CDC data. The state has one of the worst vaccination rates in the country, with roughly half of those eligible being fully vaccinated, and for the past month has experienced a surge that is stressing the health care system.