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The Coronavirus and Walmart

By August 3, 2020 No Comments

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting not only the nation, but also the world, with exception of Sweden, the information being disseminated by the media as well as even the President of the United States seems to be somewhat vague.

Who has it, who is unfortunately passing away, who can contract it are all questions that the general public has and the answers given never seem to match up to any of the other answers given, but there is one place that we can look for information and that just happens to be Walmart.

From the beginning of every lockdown in each state only a handful of places have been left open for the public to buy necessary items that they may need and one of those places, which happens to the biggest in terms of retail space as well as employees is Walmart.

According to Statista.com there are close to 5,000 Walmart stores across the nation, 3,571 of them being defined as Supercenters.

Each one of these Supercenters employs roughly 200 to 300 people who work within different shifts as well as schedules, but at any given time there are about 30 to 50 employees within the store each day.

As for consumers, granted the hours have been lessened and spending habits have been changed due to the Coronavirus, but according to Business Insider roughly one third of the U.S. population shops at Walmart each week.

With over 330 million people in the U.S. according to the latest Census that would be about 108 million people a week or 15.5 million a day that enter Walmart. Per store, on average, the breakdown would be about 3,000 people per day who happen to peruse the confines of Walmart.

So, what is known about your local Walmart:

  1. 200 – 300 employees working there a day broken up into shifts. Under the current COVID-19 lockdown, the hours have been shortened and the number of employees has probably dropped as well, so there should be 40 to 60 people working there at any given time.

By factoring just, the 3,571 Supercenters in the country there are roughly 271,000 employees within these buildings each and every day since Covid-19 started back in March. Granted each employee may not by there every day, but they are being exposed to others when they are there.

  1. 3,000 people on a typical day enter a Walmart Supercenter a day, but with the hours being shortened it could be concluded that this number could be halved to 1,500 people a day to be on the safe side.

The key question, now, is how is COVID-19 impacting these Walmart employees?

Unfortunately, the data is not readily accessible other than a simple search on the internet using a search engine like DuckDuckGo.com or Google.com. With so much attention directed at one subject the thought process would be that every major news media outlet would be posting any incident that involved Covid-19 and Walmart.

How employees have fared through this pandemic according to searched on the internet (please forgive if some are missed).

  • In Cynthiana, Kentucky, according to NY Daily.com on March 10, 2020 an employee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

1 Positive case / 0 Deaths

  • According to NPR as of April 5th 2 employees in the Chicago area have, unfortunately, passed away due to this virus. NPR further reported that both employees, according to Walmart, had not “been in the store in more than a week.”

Because of the fatalities Walmart is now facing a wrong death suit from the family of Wando Smith, one of the 2 employees who succumbed to the Coronavirus in Chicago.

2 Positive cases / 2 Deaths.

  • April 5, 2020 KREM News reported that “two employees at a Spokane Walmart tested positive for the coronavirus”. The report further stated that Walmart has yet to answer if the two employees did “come into contact with the people with the virus”. The store did not close down.

2 Positive cases / 0 Deaths

  • USA Today, on April 14, 2020, reported that according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) “30 supermarket employees have died as a result of COVID-19.”

USA Today did not elaborate on any locations, companies or even the countries of origin of these victims, but if it is concluded that they all worked at Walmart and the locations are all in the United States then the total number of deaths could be 35.

35 Positive cases / 35 Deaths

  • In Aurora Colorado, KOAA News is reporting on April 24, 2020 that a Walmart” has been ordered to close by the health department after multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths among employees, according to the Tri-County Health Department”.

KOAA further reported that Tri-County Health Department “confirmed the deaths of one employee, one third-party contracted employee, and a third death of the employee’s family member” as well as six other confirmed COVID-19 cases who are all employees of Walmart for the specific reason in closing this store.

3 Positive cases / 1 Death

  • NBC Boston.com on April 30, 2020, reported that a Walmart in Worcester, MA was closed “after nearly two dozen workers tested positive for the new coronavirus”. WCVB Boston has pegged the number of infected at 81 with no fatalities were reported.

81 Positive cases / 0 Deaths

  • Fox News reported on May 10, 2020 that 3 separate Walmart facilities would be closing in Abington, Avon and Quincy MA “after a number of employees tested positive for the coronavirus”. As of this report no fatalities were reported.

0 Deaths

  • Eat This.com reported on June 24, 2020 that according to United for Respect “the number of infected employees is now in the thousands, with at least 22 confirmed deaths”. The issue is that there are no links to any data confirming these numbers.

22 Deaths, but this could be a double count as, again, United for Respect has provided no further information.

  • KRQE News.com has reported on July 11, 2020 that 4 employees “of a Las Cruces Walmart have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past three weeks”.

4 Positive cases  / 0 Deaths.

  • The Bangor Daily News reported on July 21, 2020 that “three employees” at the Presque Isle Walmart tested positive for the virus and at the time of the reporting there have been no fatalities.

3 Positive cases / 0 Deaths

Since March of 2020, roughly 20 weeks, the data shows, and please note that this just may the beginning of this virus, that:

  • 271,000 employees have worked at a Walmart Supercenter daily for a total of 5.4 million opportunities to come into contact with someone who is infected with Covid-19.
  • Roughly 1.5 billion instances where a consumer has entered in Walmart.
  • According to United for Respect thousands of Walmart employees testing positive for Covid-19, but from reports from credible news sources found on a simple Google search pegs the number to be 2,000 at most.
  • 60 Deaths.

Please note that the data collected, again, is from a simple search on the internet. There could be plenty more incidences of either positive tests or deaths, but currently the media, which is tripping over itself to report anything on Covid-19, has reported just these at this time.

When it comes to Walmart the over 271,000 employees who have worked every day since the start about 0.074% have contracted the virus with just under 0.0222% having passed away because of it.

Not sure if this is the pandemic of the Spanish Flu back in 1918 or the Bubonic Plague in 1347, but again it just may be the beginning as the questions that should be asked:

1. With Social Distancing and the wearing of masks, which both attribute to lowering one’s immune system, what happens come the new cold and Flu season?

2. Will the nation and possibly the world get that pandemic that we seem to be asking for?

Dan McGrath

Dan McGrath

Mr. McGrath is a Co-Founder of Healthcare Retirement Planner as well as Jester Financial Technologies. He is a best selling author, "What you don't know about retirement will hurt you" and is a nationally recognized speaker on how health costs impact retirement.

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