Two Walmart store workers die from CCP virus

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Two employees of a Chicago-area Walmart store died of the CCP virus, commonly known as the new coronavirus, the company confirmed on Sunday.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the deaths of two partners in our Evergreen Park store, and we cry with their families,” the company said in a statement.

In its statement, Walmart did not provide the name, age or duration of employment for workers in the company. It is also unclear when the two workers died.

The two partners had not been in the Evergreen Park store “for more than a week,” the company said. Experts say people infected with the virus usually develop symptoms within five days of infection, but this can last up to two weeks.

Walmart said it has implemented a variety of cleaning, disinfection and health measures in the store, including hiring an outside company to clean up “sensitive” areas of the store, such as front entrances, carts, records , bathrooms and dining areas, including products and Meat. The company said that in the past week, it has passed “a third-party safety and environmental compliance assessment and a health department inspection.”

Walmart store
Employees work at checkouts at a Walmart store in Secaucus, N.J., November 11, 2015. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

Grocery and warehouse workers considered “essential businesses” in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic have expressed concern that coming to work puts them at risk of contracting the disease. In recent days, a number of retailers have said they will provide workers with masks, but obtaining such protective equipment has proven difficult as hospitals and health workers are also struggling to get their hands on such equipment.

Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, has waited for protective equipment to avoid limiting equipment that could go to strained healthcare workers, Dan Bartlett, vice president of business affairs. The company will need more than seven million masks a week for its employees, he said. The first shipment will arrive in one to two weeks.

On Friday, Walmart announced several additional measures it is implementing to reduce the risk of spread to its stores.

Walmart store
A Walmart store is seen in Miami, Florida on May 16, 2019. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The company is reducing the number of customers who can enter stores at the same time, using floor markers to impose social distance and establishing designated entry and exit doors. Walmart previously announced measures including paid leave for workers in the midst of the PPC virus epidemic, employee temperature controls and limited hours of operation to allow for cleaning and restocking.

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