Omicron surge: Walmart closes stores in metro Atlanta for deep cleaning

FILE - A Walmart store. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Several Walmart stores in metro Atlanta are temporarily closing because of high cases of COVID-19.

That includes both Duluth locations and the one in Newnan.

They are expected to reopen Saturday morning at 6 a.m.


Walmart released a statement on Thursday that reads in part:

"As an essential business and a member of the Duluth and Newnan communities, we understand the role we play in providing our customers with food, medicine and other essential items, especially at this time. 

"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 both our Duluth, GA store location at 2635 Pleasant Hill Road and our Newnan, GA store location at 1025 Highway 34 E. today at 2 p.m. as part of an ongoing company-initiated program. This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the stores and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community. We plan to reopen the store to customers at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8. 

"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, we will follow CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission."

Walmart said they will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

They also said they are offering associates two hours of paid leave to get vaccinated for the virus. They said they will give three days of paid leave for those who suffered adverse reactions getting it. Those employees who become fully vaccinated will get a $150 bonus.