Walmart plans to require its customers to wear face coverings in its stores starting Monday, the company announced today.
While there is no statewide order mandating Iowans to wear face coverings in stores, businesses can choose to deny services to customers without face coverings.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has been wary of face mask requirements because people might not use the masks correctly, she said last week.
Dacona Smith, Walmart’s chief operating officer, and Lance de la Rosa, chief operating officer of Sam’s Club, said in a news release that starting Monday all shoppers in all of their stores will be required to wear face coverings, adding the delay will give them time to post clear signage regarding the changes and train associates on new protocols
“In addition to posting clear signage at the front of our stores, Walmart has created the role of health ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements,” they said in the news release. “Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”
Associates at Sam’s Clubs will follow the same process with their members, “politely reminding” them of face covering requirements, and offering complimentary masks if a member doesn’t have one or offering masks for purchase in the club, according to the news release. The COOs also acknowledged some people may have health restrictions that prevent them from wearing masks.
“We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering,” they said in the news release. “Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone.”
Carroll now has a total of 118 confirmed coronavirus cases since March, and at least 98 of those infected people have recovered, according to state data.
Smith and de la Rosa said they know some people have different opinions on this topic, but they also recognize the role the companies can play in protecting the health of their communities by following the evolving guidance of health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates,” they said in the news release.