Walmart’s corporate office addresses reports of a positive case of COVID-19 at its store in Loganville

While the corporate offices of Walmart declined to confirm reports of an employee testing positive for COVID-19 at its Loganville store, a spokesperson did advise that there is a specific procedure followed when such an instance happens.

“While I’m not able to confirm any information related to the store at this time, we have been working to ensure our stores are cleaned and sanitized regularly,” said Delia Garcia, senior director of communications for Walmart. “We are focused on serving our customers during this unprecedented time and we’ve implemented several measures intended to help bring peace of mind. The local public health department is the best source for information about reported/confirmed cases in the area.”

However, under the HIPAA laws, much of the information requested is not available to the general public even from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Loganville attorney and current municipal judge, Lori Duff, shared an explanation of the HIPAA laws in a previous Legalese column. The information that is available, as of 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, is that there have been 737 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Walton County, 320 of them since July 1.

The question arose after a local employee of Loganville Walmart advised people through social media of her status as a way to let them know that she has indeed tested positive after taking ill on Monday. She wanted to let people in her circle be made aware of it.

Garcia gave procedures instituted by Walmart in order to stem the spread of COVID-19, including requiring shoppers to wear masks since Monday. She also outlined protections that have been instituted for Walmart employees.

“In the case we do have a confirmed case at any of our stores, we work with those associates and offer guidance and time needed to receive medical care. Associates have been encouraged to prioritize their health and stay home if feeling sick,” Garcia said. “We also implemented a COVID-19 emergency leave policy for all associates who feel unable or uncomfortable coming to work. This link takes you directly to the details of our COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy.”

According to the Emergency Leave Policy, implemented after a Walmart associate in Kentucky tested positive, these procedures were considered best practices to remain open while considering the health and safety of employees as well as customers. These policies were prepared after consulting with state and local authorities as well as health experts.

“As more cases are likely to occur, we’ll continue to take precautions and actions to keep our stores, clubs and other facilities clean and ensure the well-being of our associates, customers and members, following the protocols from our own health experts and relevant federal and state agencies. We are in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other health organizations, and have plans and procedures in place,” Walmart officials noted, going on to advise any associate who is not feeling well to stay home and giving information on the emergency leave procedures. It has been updated to apply until Aug. 31. Under the policy, two weeks of pay will be paid to an employee who is required to quarantine as a result of a diagnosis or who needs to take time off to recover. Should they not be able to return to work after two weeks, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time hourly associates.”

Walmart has remained open during the shutdown and has offered delivery as well as curbside pickup. From July 20, Walmart began requiring customers also to wear masks.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply