According to reporting by the website The Morning Call, Walmart has temporarily shut down one of it’s eCommerce distribution centers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania after a ninth confirmed case of COVID-19 at the distribution center.
According to the article, Employees were informed of nine confirmed cases Wednesday night, up from the number earlier in the week, citing a source familiar with the operation, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Walmart Global Communications spokesman Kory Lundberg confirmed Thursday morning the company had temporarily suspended operations at the Bethlehem facility Wednesday evening. Walmart will diver orders to other fulfillment centers to meet customer demand during the closure.
“Our associates’ well-being is critically important to us,” he said. “Due to unique circumstances, our Bethlehem eCommerce Fulfillment Center will temporarily suspend operations until Monday, April 6 so we can make adjustments to our operations, including schedule changes and bringing specialists in to thoroughly clean and sanitize the building.”
“When associates return, they will notice several changes made with their health and safety in mind — including access to gloves and masks, along with temperature checks and health screens before every shift — consistent with new policies Walmart announced for all U.S. associates this week,” Lundberg said.
In March, Walmart implemented an emergency COVID-19 leave policy, “encouraging associates showing coronavirus symptoms to stay home and ensuring they have the support they need” The leave policy will pay two weeks of pay if any “store, club, office or distribution center” is part of a mandatory quarantine or if the employee is required to quarantine by a government agency or by Walmart. In addition, any associate with a confirmed case will also receive “up to two weeks of pay.”
According to a report by CNBC, Walmart started taking employees temperatures at all stores and distribution centers on Tuesday, sending anyone with a temperature over 100 degrees home.