CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Walmart in Clearwater will temporarily shut its doors to customers in an effort to thoroughly clean and sanitize the location as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.
According to the company, the deep cleaning of the store at 23106 US Highway 19 N. is part of a company-initiated program.
"Several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, mainly in regions with low vaccination rates, and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic," Walmart said in a statement to 10 Tampa Bay. "The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our friends, family and neighbors and has been felt in almost all the places we call home.
"As an essential business for the past year, we are taking these proactive measures in our stores to help protect our associates and customers as best as we can."
Walmart added that its actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic are in the interest of the well-being of its associates and customers it serves daily.
The Clearwater location will reopen at 6 a.m. Aug. 4 so that employees have enough time to restock the shelves.
The nation's largest retailer reversed its mask policy on July 30 and once again required all employees, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in areas of high infection rates.
Anyone who works for Walmart is also being encouraged to get the vaccine and a $150 bonus has been put in place for those who follow through with getting the shot.
"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 company wrote.