Masks will no longer be optional for customers at all Walmart and Sam's Club stores as the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to rise.

Although many stores are located in areas where there already are some government-mandated face covering requirements, mask-wearing has not been required by the company.

Walmart and Sam's Club officials Wednesday announced all shoppers will be required to wear a face covering starting Monday.

In a statement, the company said the delay in implementing the rule "will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes." Signs will be posted at each store and employees will be trained on the regulation.

Walmart will utilize workers called "health ambassadors" to deal with people "who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution."

The statement said "we are currently considering different solutions for customers" when the requirement takes effect.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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