Walmart has sent a memo to all of its store employees in the United States explaining how the company is responding to the novel coronavirus.
The company said in a memo sent Friday that it has set up an emergency operations task force to address coronavirus concerns. It also has employees from using face masks for "general use."
"We've set up an Emergency Operations Center task force, and we're in close communication with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other health organizations to help us respond properly," the memo said. "We'll address the needs of each store, club and support center in each of our markets, and adjust business operations and travel as needed. Your safety is our priority."
The memo was sent by Dr. Tom Van Gilder, the company's chief medical officer, and Donna Morris, Walmart's chief people officer. The company employs about 1.5 million workers across the nation.
The memo also described symptoms for COVID-19, the virus caused by the coronavirus. It also prescribed preventive measures to keep from getting sick, such as proper hand-washing techniques.
"Stay home when you are sick," the memo said. "Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash."
It is the most widespread response to the disease by a major American employer to date.