• 81 employees of a single Walmart store tested positive for coronavirus
  • The branch is located in Worcester City, Massachusetts
  • Investigation revealed that there were some employees who allegedly did not wear face coverings

Worcester city officials ordered the temporary closure of a Walmart Store located at Tobias Boland Way after 81 employees tested positive for coronavirus. The number of infected persons accounts for about 20% of the store’s total workforce of 414, NewsCenter5 reported.

Cluster Of COVID-19 Cases

A cease-and-desist order was issued Wednesday after the initial round of testing found that 23 of the store’s employees turned out to be positive. The second round of tests found 58 more employees were COVID-19 positive, according to a report filed by

The City Manager of Worcester, Edward Augustus, told the news outlet that a cluster of coronavirus cases was reported among store employees during the last three weeks. He added that the bulk of the cases occurred within the past week.

coronavirus update 81 employees at 1 walmart store tested positive
coronavirus update 81 employees at 1 walmart store tested positive Engin_Akyurt - Pixabay

Mandatory Mask Policy

In a separate interview, a spokesperson for Walmart claimed that most of their employees who tested positive have been absent from their jobs for the past days. In an inspection conducted Tuesday, however, city officials discovered that not all store employees wore face coverings while performing their duties.

The company, through its spokesperson, had told NewsCenter5 that a mandatory mask policy has been imposed in their store for all employees since the last week of April. The Walmart representative also revealed, in a statement sent Monday to Boston Herald, that those infected include regular employees of the superstore and workers from third-party businesses within the store.

Store Will Remain Closed

In a statement, the superstore said that its employees will continue to earn their wages through Walmart’s COVID-19 paid leave policy. It added that their employees can take the time to rest to get well. “We will continue working with local officials, taking the steps needed in addition to the extensive measures we have in place, to help ensure the safety and well-being of our associates and customers before we reopen the store,” the statement read.

Officials announced that the store will remain closed until the city inspects it. City officials also told NewsCenter5 that the store must undergo deep cleaning by professional third-party companies to ensure it is properly disinfected. It must also show proper signage and have sanitation supplies in the store before it reopens.