Walmart has continued to practice new strategies throughout all of their stores in the U.S. to help keep their customers and employees safe in response to flatten the curve duringthe coronavirus pandemic. Now, they're offering a contact-free pickup hour for their patients who are most at risk of contracting the virus and developing COVID-19 as a result. Every day, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. will be reserved for those at risk patients over the age of 60 and customers with disabilities, along with others who are considered high-risk.
"Now more than ever, families are relying on our pickup service to help get quality, fresh groceries to their homes as safely as possible," Tom Ward, Senior Vice President said according to WSAZ 3. "These are extraordinary times, and we are constantly looking for ways we can help deliver that same peace of mind to all our customers, particularly those who are most at-risk." The entire delivery process is contact-free. Customers will open their trunk as the associates load their groceries in with no need to sign for the order.
In the meantime, the store has implemented new social distancing rules, including monitoring how many customers are in the store at one time, spaced out lines where customers are to stand if waiting outside to get in and in lines to check out, as well as signage throughout the store that reminds people to practice social distancing, as well as, encouraging them to wash their hands regularly. The company also recently announced that they would be hosting coronavirus testing sites in some of their stores parking lots in order to help more people get tested.
"We currently have three sites open, and we have plans to expand testing to multiple sites next week with the goal of having more than 20 sites in more than 10 states by the end of the month," a spokesperson for Walmart stated to Business Insider. "We have been learning a lot from our initial sites so that we can get the model right and we are working hard to help expand testing in areas of need as quickly as possible. We remain committed to supporting government efforts to expand COVID-19 drive-thru testing during this critical time, and we are working closely with Quest Diagnostics, HHS, and several states to open sites in areas of need." Each location will be run by their local pharmacy and lab partner employees with some community volunteers to help out.