It’s nearly 2022, which means the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for nearly two years. Life isn’t exactly “back to normal” because of variants like Delta and Omicron.
When it comes to grocery shopping, certain safety precautions remain at stores such as Costco. While many grocery stores clean their stores overnight after they close, Walmart occasionally takes a more drastic approach.
America’s biggest retail chain is still shutting stores for almost 40 hours to sanitize them across the nation. Everything you need to know is right here.
In case you missed it, this isn’t a new trend.
We first noticed the trend a year back, when several area Walmart stores started shutting their doors for less than 48 hours in December 2020.
Loyal customers complained about the inconvenience and their surprise at the sudden closures.
More stores will close in early 2021.
Even as vaccine efforts ramped up and other pandemic rules were relaxed, more Walmart locations across the United States were forced to close their doors a few months later, in the spring of 2021.
Walmart told Eat This, Not That! at the time that it was “making these determinations on a market-by-market basis.”
However, the retailer did not provide additional information about whether any of the closures were linked to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees or residents of surrounding areas.
A year later, Walmart is still closing stores for thorough cleanings.
Since December 10, at least three reports of Walmart store closures have surfaced. One store in Ashland, Kentucky, closed at 2 p.m. local time on December 10 and reopened at 6 a.m. on December 12.
According to WSAZ, the retail chain attributed this to a “renewal of positive COVID-19 cases” in the area and a desire to “assist health officials working against the pandemic.”
Two other stores are closed in Jackson, Ohio, and Surprise, Arizona, and will reopen at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, December 16. Walmart confirmed to local news stations that the two stores were closed for the same reason—cleaning and sanitizing.
When asked for more information about the Arizona closure, a spokesperson cited privacy concerns and declined to provide more specifics.
“Understand that we are operating with any affected associates to ensure that they have the time they need to recover,” they said. “We take all implemented measures seriously and will continue to keep a close eye on the situation.”
According to Walmart, a special team decides which locations receive deep cleanings.
According to Charles Crowson, director of corporate communications for Walmart’s press office, the retailer is still evaluating the situation across the country and cannot predict any future closures.
“At the home office, we have a team that meets daily to evaluate criteria related to stores and the communities we serve.
When that data reaches certain thresholds, we decide to be proactive and close the store for cleaning and sanitizing, “According to Crowson.
“Determining when and where temporary store closures will occur is something we cannot forecast in the long term because the information our team is evaluating is constantly evolving.”
Stay tuned with us for more info and news!