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This COVID-19 Precaution Is Temporarily Closing Some Walmart Stores

Here's why your neighborhood location may suddenly shut down.

Walmart has temporarily shut down some of its its nearly 5,000 stores across the U.S. in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The low-price retailer announced it would close stores overnight for cleaning at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a change which continues nearly 10 months later. (There are a few ways to protect yourself against the new coronavirus—here is The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)

"Early in the pandemic, we made the decision to close stores overnight to enable enhanced sanitization," Dacona Smith, the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, says. "It's proven helpful, as it gives our associates more time to do enhanced cleaning and restock shelves for our customers."

But some stores are being shut down for longer periods of time as part of a company program in which third-party crews deep clean and sanitize buildings. Temporary closures have been reported across the past month in Springdale, Ark., Hartford, Conn., Butte, Mont., Chickasha, Okla., and Beckley, W. Va..

Though the cleanings are intended to safeguard customers and employees from COVID-19, some patrons complained about the inconvenience. Arkansas residents told local news station KAIT8 that they were shocked by the sudden two-day closure of the Walmart in Paragould on Dec. 9.

"They could've warned us a little bit," one resident said. "We shop at Walmart here every day … This is going to hurt this little town."

For more information about protecting yourself and others while grocery shoppings, here are 8 Ways to Shop Safely at Walmart Right Now. And to stay up-to-date on all grocery store news, sign up for our daily newsletter!

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