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Walmart Stores Keep Temporarily Closing for This Reason

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, every Walmart store could be affected.

New COVID-19 infections are spiking across the country as the contagious delta variant spreads. As a result, Costco has already backtracked on its plan to end one pandemic-era rule that helps protect shoppers. Now, Walmart is also stepping up safety measures.

America's largest grocery chain has required masks inside its stores, displayed social distancing signs, and created entrance and exit lanes at various times during the pandemic. It has also shut down stores for more than 40 hours in order to sanitize them. Temporarily closures for deep cleanings lasted through spring 2021, and they have started up again at stores across the country.

Related: 6 Best Groceries To Buy At Walmart Right Now

Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Stores in Jacksonville and Panama City, Fla., as well as Claremore, Okla., and Pagosa Springs, Colo., have all recently closed for almost two days in order for deep cleanings to take place without customers present.

As with similar previous closures, the stores shut down at 2 p.m. and re-opened two days later at either 6 or 7 a.m. The two Florida locations were the latest stores to close, having shut down on Sunday, July 25, and re-opened on Tuesday, July 27. According to the Panama City News Herald, a statement from the retail chain read:

As you know, several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, mainly among the unvaccinated and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic. As part of this effort, we have chosen to temporarily close our Lynn Haven store. This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community.

Similar statements were issued regarding the other locations.

Last year, shoppers were shocked when a store in Paragould, Ark., shut down unexpectedly close to Christmas. "They could've warned us a little bit," one shopper told a local news station at the time. "This is going to hurt this little town."

In May, Walmart told Eat This, Not That! that it was "making these [closing] determinations on a market-by-market basis." We have reached out to Walmart for more information about the recent closings, as well as to find out if any more are planned in your neck of the woods.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda