Before the holidays came before us, it was said that a spike of COVID-19 cases will soon spread across America. With the virus surging throughout California, Lodi residents were shocked to learn that the Walmart Supercenter located at 1601 S. Lower Sacramento Road will be closing temporarily for a deep cleaning and restocking.
Not only were Lodi’s residents shocked, but many employees were unaware of the closure and cleaning protocol until they reported for work on Sunday. The store closed at 2pm on December 27th, and will re-open on Tuesday December 29th at 6am for Seniors and 7am for the general public. Pharmacy curbside service will remain open and have normal hours during this time.
Many of Lodi’s residents took to social media Sunday evening to start the rumor mill, claiming groups of employees had tested positive and been sent home in recent days. Some claimed as many as 60 employees have been sent home with COVID.
According to the Lodi News Sentinel “Casey Staheli, a spokesman for Walmart, would neither confirm or deny the rumor, telling the News-Sentinel on Dec. 11 that the Arkansas-based company maintains privacy for all it’s employees and associates.
So why shut the store down for two days to clean? “We have been working to ensure our stores are cleaned and sanitized regularly,” Staheli said, according to the Lodi News Sentinel article “Walmart says it is following California’s health and safety protocols,” from December 12, 2020.
The deep clean is going to be done by a third-party. They are coming in to sanitize the entire store over two days in order to protect the customers and employees during this pandemic. Upon reopening, Walmart will continue to monitor employees at the start of their shift by taking their temperature and asking if they have had any symptoms related to COVID-19. If they respond yes, then they are told to return home until they can produce a negative test.
The million-dollar question is: has there been an outbreak or is Walmart really taking this pandemic seriously and doing what they can to keep everyone safe in such a trying time.