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South Bay Walmart stores close for deep cleaning to slow COVID-19 spread

Posted at 1:12 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 16:12:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Some South Bay Walmart stores have temporarily shut down for deep cleaning in recent days as part of the company’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Within the past week, Walmart’s locations on Highland Avenue in National City and H Street in Chula Vista were closed so crews could carry out a deep clean in the stores.

In a written statement, Walmart officials said they “understand the essential role their stores play in getting customers food, medicine, and other needs.”

RELATED: Chula Vista Walmart temporarily closes for cleaning amid coronavirus pandemic

Officials went on to say, “Adding this protocol is in addition to extensive measures they’ve already put in place including sneeze guards, temperature checks, and mandatory mask wearing.”

ABC 10News’ media partner KPBS found a trend in data showing there have been multiple outbreaks at retail stores such as Walmart, Costco, and Target. KPBS reported Walmart stores have had 11 outbreaks, Target has had six, and Costco has had five.

A medical doctor KPBS spoke with also pointed out that a higher number of outbreaks at retail chains is likely, partly because they have multiple locations and more people work there and visit them.

Local Walmart shopper Silvia Acevedo said she ends up at a store every day, so she’s glad the company is taking a proactive approach at keeping everyone safe.

“It's a good idea because it's better for everybody … we have to take care of each person; we have to worry about everybody and follow the protocols,” said Acevedo.

On Tuesday afternoon, a Walmart representative told ABC 10News that the Walmart Supercenter on 1150 Broadway in Chula Vista was closing at 2 p.m. for a deep cleaning.

The store is slated to reopen to the public on Dec. 31, at 7 a.m.

Walmart has released this statement on the store cleaning effort:

“Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and customers, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and health experts. When the store reopens Thursday, we will continue conducting associate health screens and temperature checks, and all associates will be provided with facemasks and gloves.

These protocols are in addition to the extensive measures we’ve put in place during the pandemic to help protect our associates and customers, including installing sneeze guards at registers, temperature checks and mandatory mask-wearing for associates, placing social distancing signage and enacting emergency leave policy for associates who are unable or uncomfortable coming to work. Additionally, through the help of our health ambassadors, we will continue requiring customers to wear protective facial coverings while inside the building.

We will continue working closely with elected and local health officials, adjusting how we serve the community while also keeping the health and safety of our customers and associates in mind.”