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As COVID-19 Cases Surge In Texas Walmart Begins Counting Customers Again, Limiting Capacity

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) - Walmart is again counting the number of customers at its stores as Texas leads the nation in the number of coronavirus cases -- at more than 1 million -- and the U.S. continues to hit daily highs.

At the previous height of the pandemic, in April, Walmart restricted the number of people inside stores to 20% capacity. But there was a period when stores stopped counting the number of customers coming and going.

"We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time our stores didn't reach our self-imposed 20% metering capacity," said Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores."

Walmart during COVID
Shoppers wearing face masks to protect them from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a Walmart store on October 20, 2020. (credit: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The company is taking the step as the U.S. continues to set new COVID-19 records. Texas was the first state in the nation to record more than one million coronavirus cases. According to data from the COVID Tracking Project, more than 68,500 are hospitalized with the virus across the country, more than at any other point during the pandemic.

As customer counting resumes at Walmart the company is also preparing to being in a wealth of Black Friday shoppers. But the company is spreading the sales over time to limit the number of people in stores.

While customers are being encouraged to shop online and use curbside pickup, shoppers going to brick-and-mortar stores will have a different experience than in years past. Shoppers going to stores will have to form single-file lines to be given sanitized shopping carts at the entrance, people entering the store will be reminded to put their masks on, and social distancing and one-way lanes will be enforced.


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