The Walmart superstore in Kimball, Tennessee temporarily closed Wednesday after numerous associates reportedly tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Walmart shut down the Kimball store at 2 p.m. Wednesday and will keep the retail outlet shut until 7 a.m. Friday to allow outside cleaning crews to help sanitize the store following reports of as many as 20 associates have tested positive for the virus. Walmart does daily health screenings and temperature checks of all employees before every shift.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Marion County rose Wednesday to 715, including 97 active cases and nine deaths, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
"Marion County is suffering from a new spike of coronavirus cases," a Walmart spokesman said in a statement about the store closing to the Times Free Press. "As health officials work to curb the impact of this pandemic, we want to be a part of the solution to help keep our stores clean for our associates and customers. We have chosen to take the proactive step to temporarily close our Walmart Supercenter."
Phillip Keene, director of global corporate affairs at Walmart, said the store closing is a temporary, proactive measure and is part of several steps the retail giant has taken to help limit the spread of the virus. Walmart began requiring all of its employees to wear masks or other face coverings at work on April 20 and it has also required masks or facial coverings for all customers since July 20.
Walmart also has enhanced cleaning measures, installed social distancing signage on the floor and sneeze guards at registers, and added no-touch payment methods.
- Compiled by Dave Flessner