Crestview Walmart closing temporarily for COVID sanitization, restocking

Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

CRETVIEW — Walmart will be closed until Sunday morning as part of an effort to sanitize the store amid a nationwide increase in COVID cases.

"As you know, several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic," a statement from Walmart's corporate office said. "In support of this effort, we have chosen to temporarily close our Crestview store location at 3351 S. Ferdon Blvd. at 2 p.m. (Friday) as part of a company-initiated program."

The Walmart at 3351 S. Ferdon Blvd. in Crestview is closed until 6 a.m. Sept. 5, 2021, so that it can be sanitized and restocked amid rising COVID-19 cases.

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The statement said the temporary closure will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will give store associates additional time to restock shelves before the store is scheduled to reopen to customers at 6 a.m. Sunday.

A Facebook post by the Crestview Walmart notes that the pharmacy curbside service will remain open normal hours while the store is closed.

On Facebook, several people commented that a few hours notice that Walmart would be closed for a day and a half on a holiday weekend seemed insufficient.

The Walmart statement acknowledged that the company understands the essential role it plays in providing customers with food, medicine and other essential items.

"Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and the thousands of customers we serve daily, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and health experts," the statement said. "Given the rise in positive cases through the Delta variant, we will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission."

Discussing overall COVID policy, the Walmart statement said, "When the store reopens Sunday, we will continue conducting associate health assessments, and all unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings.

"In addition to offering COVID-19 vaccines to customers through walk-in or online appointments, we’re also offering easy access to vaccines for associates. Associates can receive their vaccinations at their home store pharmacy, on or off the clock.

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"Should associates choose to schedule their vaccinations elsewhere, we will provide two hours of paid leave," the statement added. "Associates who receive the vaccine are given a $150 bonus for doing so and up to three days paid leave should they experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

"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," the statement concluded. "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."