LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Four employees of a Las Cruces Walmart have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past three weeks. The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department posted a notice of imminent and substantial endangerment to employees and the public at the Walmart Saturday morning.
The store, located at 3331 Rinconada Boulevard which employs over 400 people must close immediately under the order. Walmart stated they do not require employees who test positive to self-quarantine for 14 days. They also don’t notify individuals who came into close personal contact with the employees to get tested.
NMED is also requiring the store to test all of its workers and thoroughly disinfect the building. The state is urging customers who visited the Las Cruces location since June 22 and any New Mexican who believes they’ve been exposed to seek COVID-19 testing.
Walmart released the following statement late Saturday night:
“Per our company policies that have been in place for several months, if an associate tests positive or is presumed positive for COVID-19, the associate is sent home. The associate may only return to work if all the following requirements are met: 10 days have passed since the first day of symptoms or a positive test; no fever (temperature less than 100°F) without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 72 hours; symptoms are improving; and their healthcare provider considers them fit to return to work.
“We follow New Mexico’s and the CDC’s requirements to notify associates who may have come into close personal contact with associates who test positive. Associates are informed of the availability of COVID‐19 testing and the Walmart Health plan covers testing for all associates who have Walmart insurance and obtain a note from a physician.
Additionally, in the state of New Mexico we send home any associates who may have had close contact with any confirmed positive case – within or outside of our stores. Anyone who is sent home for potential close contact is required to quarantine for 14 days.
“These protocols are in addition to the extensive measures we’ve had in place since April to help protect associates and customers, including installing sneeze guards at registers, limiting the number of customers in a store at any one time, one-way aisle shopping, placing social distancing signage, and enacting an emergency leave policy for associates who are unable or uncomfortable coming to work.”
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