Walmart to start taking workers' temperatures, providing gloves and masks

Catherine Garcia

Walmart announced on Tuesday it will soon start checking workers' temperatures when they report for their shifts and will make masks and gloves available for their use.

"We know not only our associates, but our customers as well will be more comforted by the fact that they have access to the more general medical mask," Walmart executive vice president Dan Bartlett said.

Bartlett said gloves and masks will be sent to warehouses and stores that request them within the next few weeks; with more than 1.4 million associates, it's likely that 7 million masks will be needed every week. Stores have already installed plexiglass shields around cash registers, and will start making announcements reminding shoppers to stay six feet away from each other.

Retail workers at stores like Walmart have to show up for work during the coronavirus pandemic, as they are considered essential. Many are worried about exposure to the coronavirus, and are afraid they might bring it home to their families. Lily, a Walmart employee in New Mexico who lives with her elderly parents, told NPR she doesn't "know how to weigh the responsibility of going to work with the responsibility of making sure that my parents are safe. I'm scared that, going every day to work, I am putting them in danger."

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