The Walmart near Manassas mall closed Sunday afternoon to allow crews to thoroughly clean and sanitize the store. There’s no word yet, however, about whether the extra step is being taken as a result of a positive COVID-19 case or cases at the store.
The store, located at 8386 Sudley Road in Manassas, closed at 2 p.m. today, Sunday, Jan. 10, and will remain closed until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, according to Charles Crowson, a member of Walmart’s corporate affairs team.
The cleaning will be done by an outside cleaning crew. An employee at the store said the timing was the result of the availability of the cleaning crew. The employee declined to answer a question about whether the step was tied to a positive COVID-19 case or outbreak at the store.
Crowson did not immediately answer an email seeking more information Sunday.
“Walmart’s place within the community is considered essential, and we understand the role we play in providing customers with food, medicine and other needed items during this time,” Crowson said in an email.
“Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and customers, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and health experts. When the store reopens Tuesday, we will continue conducting associate health screens and temperature checks, and all associates will be provided with facemasks and gloves,” he added.
Those protocols are in addition to steps such as sneeze guards at cash registers, temperature checks and mandatory mask-wearing for associates, Crowson wrote.
The stores also have enacted “emergency leave policy” for employees who are unable or uncomfortable coming to work, he said.
“Additionally, through the help of our health ambassadors, we will continue requiring customers to wear protective facial coverings while inside the building,” he added.
Other Walmart locations around the country have closed for the same type of cleaning. It’s not immediately clear whether other area Walmarts will be required to be closed for similar cleanings.
This story will be updated with more information as we receive it.