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Walmart, Sam’s requiring masks beginning July 20

Facts about retail chain Walmart.

One of the world’s biggest retailers will require customers to wear protective face masks before entering their stores beginning July 20.

Walmart and Sam’s Clubs will also require masks even in locations where there are no government mandates that people wear masks in public. The retailers said, according to media reports, the mask mandate is an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

»COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said that currently about 65% its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings.

The retailer also said it will create the role of health ambassador at its Walmart stores and will station them near the entrance to remind customers without masks of its new requirements. These workers, who will be wearing black polo shirts, will receive special training to “help make the process as smooth as possible for customers.”

Walmart joins a growing list of retailers that have instituted mask mandates throughout their chains. Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, announced Tuesday that it will have a mask mandate for its customers at all of its stores. Starbucks announced last week that customers who visit its company-owned café locations in the U.S. will be required to wear face coverings. Both policies were in effect Wednesday.

In April, a video of two men being walked out of an Illinois Walmart went viral. In the footage, one of the men claimed they were escorted out due to their refusal to remove protective COVID-19 masks from their faces.

The video reportedly captured an incident at a Walmart in Wood River, Illinois.

In the video, which has been viewed more than 100,000 times on Twitter, a man with a mask on is seen speaking to the camera. An officer is seen walking behind him, gripping his holster and gun.

Video shows black men being escorted out of Walmart for wearing masks

“This officer right here behind us...just followed us in the store...He just followed us from outside, told us that we cannot wear masks,” the man says to the camera. “There’s a presidential order. There’s a state order, and he’s following us outside the store. We’re being asked to leave for staying safe.”

The video can be seen here. It includes graphic language that may not be suitable for children.