Coronavirus Outbreak: Walmart Cutting Hours Nationwide to Restock and Sanitize Stores

Effective Sunday, all Walmart stores within the United States will be operating with reduced hours as a direct result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a statement released by the store, beginning March 15th, stores will open at 6 a.m. local time and remain open until 11:00 p.m. Any store that already had shorter hours — like opening at 7 a.m. or closing earlier — will keep those hours. According to Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith, Walmart employees will continue working their regular shifts as the stores will be restocked, cleaned, and sanitized. The typically 24-hour store said the shortened hours are expected to remain in place until further notice.

"I could not be prouder of our associates and what they continue to accomplish for our customers," Smith said in a statement. "I don’t think any of us have been through an experience like this, and we continue to be amazed at what our people, whether in the stores or in the supply chain, are doing to make sure customers have what they need."

He added, "To better support our associates and serve our customers, we will adjust our operating hours beginning Sunday, March 15. I don’t think any of us have been through an experience like this, and we continue to be amazed at what our people, whether in the stores or in the supply chain, are doing to make sure customers have what they need."

As of Saturday night, the New York Times reports at least 2,695 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed resulting in at least 58 deaths.

Walmart's full statement can be read below.

"I could not be prouder of our associates and what they continue to accomplish for our customers. I don’t think any of us have been through an experience like this, and we continue to be amazed at what our people, whether in the stores or in the supply chain, are doing to make sure customers have what they need.

To better support our associates and serve our customers, we will adjust our operating hours beginning Sunday, March 15. Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice. This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing. Stores currently operating under more reduced hours (for example they regularly close at 10 p.m. or open at 7 a.m.) will keep their current hours of operation.

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As we make this change, associates will continue to work the hours and shifts they are scheduled, and our supply chain and trucking fleet will continue to move products and deliver to stores on their regular schedules. As a reminder, we have a temporary COVID-19 emergency leave policy to support associates at this unprecedented time.

To our associates, thank you for your incredible work during this time. I know it hasn’t always been easy, but your entire Walmart family is so proud of what you are doing and the important difference you are making, both for your neighbors and for your country."