KENNER, La. (WGNO) — In the midst of a fifth COVID-19 surge due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Walmart announced it will temporarily close its Kenner store on Wednesday.

The store located at 300 West Esplanade Avenue will shut its doors at 2 p.m. to allow third-party cleaning to thoroughly clean and santize the building, and it will remain closed until 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31.

Walmart’s head office issued an official statement earlier in the day:

As you know, several areas across the country have begun seeing a renewed increase in positive COVID-19 cases, and we want to assist health officials working against the pandemic. In support of this effort, we have chosen to temporarily close as part of an ongoing company-initiated program. This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community.

Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and the thousands of customers we serve daily, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and health experts. Given the rise in positive cases through the Delta variant, we will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission. 

Walmart Inc.

According to a media release from Walmart, the store will continue conducting associate health assessments when it reopens, and all unvaccinated associates must still wear face coverings.

In addition to offering COVID-19 vaccines to customers through walk-in or online appointments, Walmart is also offering easy access to vaccines for associates. Associates can receive their vaccinations at their home store pharmacy, on or off the clock.