Coronavirus: Walmart requires employees to wear face masks in some areas

NEW YORK — Employees at Walmart are again required to wear a face mask or other face-covering while working, company officials said Friday.

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The company is reversing from May’s policy, which allowed vaccinated workers to go maskless. The policy currently applies to areas with high infection rates, according to The Associated Press.

Walmart told the AP that it also will be implementing a new verification process for vaccine status for workers.

The company is also encouraging customers in those same affected areas to wear masks while in stores. “Health Ambassadors” will also again be positioned at entrances to hand out masks, according to Fox Business.

Walmart has now doubled the incentive for workers to get vaccinated by now offering $150. Those who received $75 for vaccination under the previous incentive will get an additional $75 to match the new amount.

The United States leads the world with the most coronavirus cases and the highest death toll. Since the start of the pandemic, officials have confirmed more than 34.7 million infections and reported more than 612,000 deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 196.8 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, resulting in 4.2 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.