Walmart will reduce its store hours in their 24-hour locations starting Sunday amid concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the company announced Saturday evening.
Starting Sunday, March 15, Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stores that are already operating under reduced hours outside of that frame will keep operating as such.
“This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing,” the company said in a statement.
The news comes as grocery and discount department stores around the country have been cleared out as Americans stock up on food and other supplies in the case of an emergency. Grocery stores and public health officials have discouraged such behavior.
The outbreak has also brought up concerns about hourly service industry workers like the people that Walmart employs, who often lack access to paid sick leave programs or health insurance and come into contact with hundreds of people each shift.
Earlier this week, Walmart announced a paid sick leave policy of up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time employees who contract COVID-19.