Walmart is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of customers and associates during the outbreak of COVID-19 nationwide.
Starting on Saturday, April 4, Walmart will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will not allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store's capacity.
Associates will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing as they wait to enter the store.
Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted on a "1-out-1-in" basis.
One-way movement through aisles will be instituted next week in many stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. Signs will be placed inside stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing.
Once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered.
Some stores are installing Plexiglass guards at checkout and pharmacies.
Several stores in Acadiana are setting up barricades outside, preparing for the changes to take effect this weekend.
Walmart Executive Vice President and COO Dacona Smith said that while many customers have adhered to the guidelines regarding social distancing and other safety measures, "we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people. We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines."
"We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home."
Read more from Walmart here.