Walmart in Surprise closing temporarily to sanitize in response to COVID

Dec 14, 2021, 1:42 PM | Updated: 1:43 pm
(Walmart Photo)...
(Walmart Photo)
(Walmart Photo)

PHOENIX – A West Valley Walmart is closing temporarily this week to sanitize the store to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the company announced Tuesday.

The Walmart Supercenter at 13770 W. Bell Road near Grand Avenue in Surprise was scheduled to be closed from 2 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.

“This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community,” Ashley Nolan, global communications senior manager for Walmart Corporate Affairs, said in a press release.

The release didn’t mention if there was a specific incident that led to the closure decision, but it said “we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic.”

When asked for more information, Nolan told KTAR News 92.3 FM that some details couldn’t be provided because of privacy reasons.

“Know that we are working with any affected associates so they have the time needed to get well,” she said. “We’re taking all implemented measures seriously and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

In a previous response, she said there’s a corporate team that analyzes data related to the stores and their communities.

“When that data reaches certain thresholds, we make the decision to get ahead of the situation and proactively close the store for cleaning and sanitizing,” she said.

Walmart requires its unvaccinated employees to wear face masks and encourages workers and customers to get vaccinated at its store pharmacies. The company also conducts health screenings for associates.

Workers who haven’t previously received vaccination incentives are being offered $150 to become fully vaccinated.

“These protocols and convenient access to vaccinations are in addition to the extensive measures we’ve put in place during the pandemic to help protect our associates and customers,” Nolan said in the initial press release.

“We will continue working closely with elected and local health officials, adjusting how we serve the community while also keeping the health and safety of our customers and associates in mind.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Walmart in Surprise closing temporarily to sanitize in response to COVID