MADISON, Ohio — Walmart in Madison announced it will be temporarily closing to clean its store, the latest area big-box store to say it was doing so. The store closed at 2 p.m. on Monday and won't reopen until 6 a.m. on Wednesday. A third-party cleaning crew will be thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the building.
Walmart released the following statement on the cleaning and how they are handling the surge in COVID-19 cases:
"As an essential business and a member of the Madison community, we understand the role we play in providing our customers with food, medicine and other essential items, especially at this time.
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. In support of this effort, we have chosen to temporarily close our Madison, OH location at 6067 N Ridge Rd today at 2 p.m. as part of a company-initiated program. 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. We plan to reopen the store to customers at 6 a.m. on Wed., Jan. 5
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 (CDC) and health experts. 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.
In these counties and where there are state or local mask mandates, associates will be required to wear masks inside our facilities, including stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. You can find the county-by-county breakdown here [covid.cdc.gov]. The CDC updates its data on transmission rates weekly, so the guidance on mask usage is likely to change over time in different locations.
When the store reopens Wednesday, 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. They’ll receive two hours of paid leave to receive their vaccination and up to three days paid leave, should they experience an adverse reaction.
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. 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."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lake County has a 32.12% positivity rate. Only 65.7% of Lake County's population is vaccinated against the disease. And according to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 42,676 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. More than 1,217 people have been hospitalized and 556 people have died.