All Walmart and Sam's Club stores will require shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20, in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Stores will also have a single entrance to help ensure consistency.

"According to the CDC, face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance," Chief Operating Officers Dacona Smith and Lance de la Rosa wrote in a statement Wednesday.

Some employees will take on the newly created role of 'health ambassador.' They will be stationed near the entrance to remind anyone entering the store about the new mask requirement.

"We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20."

"We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone," the store leaders wrote.

The operating officers reminded customers that those who can wear a face covering but choose not to place Walmart and Sam's Club employees -- many of whom are considered 'frontline' workers who have had to continue reporting to their jobs amid the pandemic -- at risk.

"We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates," they said.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app