Northwest Alabama Walmart will close through Monday under COVID logs
A Walmart store in northwest Alabama will be closed until 6 a.m. on Monday to allow an outside specialist to further disinfect the store as part of a company-wide initiative to assist health officials during the pandemic.
The store is located at Hamilton, 1706 Military Street S. It was closed starting at 2:00 p.m. today as part of an effort by the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company to serve health officials working against the pandemic in regions of the country where there are few vaccinations tariffs.
Hamilton is the county seat of Marion County, where only 24.7% of residents are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alabama has the lowest fully vaccinated person rate in the country at 34.3%.
Walmart said in a statement that the closure will give additional time to disinfect the store and give staff additional time to replenish shelves and prepare the store for reopening.
“Everything we do is for the well-being of our employees and the thousands of customers we serve every day, and with the guidance of (the CDC) and health professionals in mind,” the statement said. “When the store reopens on Monday, we will continue to conduct employee health assessments.”
The Hamilton store closes on the same day a Walmart store reopens in Andalusia, which closed on Thursday under similar circumstances. Andalusia is the county seat in Covington County, where only 23.6% of the population are vaccinated.
No other store in Alabama has closed. Similar temporary store closings have occurred in Florida, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
The temporary store closings in Alabama and elsewhere come at a time when Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, said all U.S.-based employees must be vaccinated by October 4th. This information, reported by national news agencies, was in a memo from the company’s president and CEO.
In the statement on the Hamilton store, Walmart said it will offer COVID-19 vaccines to its customers through walk-in or online appointments. They also offer vaccines for employees.
The statement does not provide details of the company’s upcoming vaccine mandate.
“Employees can get their vaccinations in their pharmacy at home, around the clock or outside,” the statement said. “These protocols and convenient access to vaccinations complement the extensive measures we took during the pandemic to protect our employees and customers. We will continue to work closely with elected and local health authorities to tailor our service to the community while keeping the health and safety of our customers and employees in mind. ”