WASHINGTON - Major retailer Walmart has returned to keeping track of how many people enter its stores as the U.S. faces a surging coronavirus caseload, the company confirmed to FOX Business.
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"Walmart began limiting capacity in our stores to 20% in early April, or lower if mandated by a local government, and that limit has remained in place since then," Walmart said in a statement. "We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time our stores didn’t reach our self-imposed 20% metering capacity. Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores."
Coronavirus hospitalizations have been trending upward over the past few weeks, with medical professionals treating COVID patients feeling the effects firsthand.
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COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. reached 61,964, a record high, on Tuesday according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. The Midwest and Texas, in particular, are driving the hospitalization surge.
Walmart and its sister store Sam's Club operate more than 5,000 retail locations nationwide.
The pandemic has forced the retailer to rethink how it serves its customers. For example, Walmart launched its first online-only Black Friday sales event in early November.
The holiday sales, announced earlier this year, are part of the company's effort to spread out the traditional one-day event to deter large crowds from gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic. This year, heading into the holiday season, the company is offering three events both online and in-store that will be spread out through the month of November.
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