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Walmart ending mask mandate for fully vaccinated store employees effective immediately

Walmart announced it's ending its mask mandate for fully vaccinated workers at all Walmart or Sam's Club facilities.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — On Friday, Feb. 11, Walmart announced that it would be immediately ending its mask mandate for fully vaccinated workers at any Walmart or Sam's Club facility. 

Walmart defines "fully vaccinated" as having received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Workers in states where state or local mask mandates are still in place will have to wear face coverings. 

Unvaccinated employees will have to continue to wear a mask, according to a memo sent to all U.S.-based associates. Those working in Walmart-run health clinics and pharmacies with direct patient/customer contact will still be required to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status. 

Vaccinated employees who wish to wear a mask while working in a Walmart or Sam's Club store may continue to do so. 

Walmart also announced daily health screenings for workers would no longer be required starting Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 (except in California, New York and Virginia). 

Walmart said it would end its paid COVID-19 leave on Mar. 31, 2022.  

"As you know, for the past two years we have had a COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy which provides paid leave for COVID-19-related absences in addition to our regular PTO policies. TheCOVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy will end on Mar. 31, 2022, except as required by state or local mandates or ordinances. Any COVID-19 leave in process on that date will continue under the terms of the current policy. Associates who are diagnosed with COVID-19 on or before Mar. 31 may still apply for leave under the policy and if eligible, the COVID-19 leave will be subject to the terms of the current policy. For full-time hourly, salaried and truck driver associates currently receiving short-term disability benefits due to COVID-19, your benefits will continue to be subject to the terms of those plans. Our regular PTO options will remain in place."

Walmart pivoted to requiring employees and customers to wear masks inside stores at the beginning of the pandemic. Customers were allowed to shop without a face cover just a few months later, but workers have continued to wear masks ever since. 

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