CLARION - Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walmart, last week announced changes Walmart has made to support associates and customers.

"Our associates have been nothing short of heroic in their commitment to serve customers, stock shelves as quickly as possible and keep their stores clean," said Smith. "When their communities needed them the most, our people have been at their best. Their efforts continue to be a tremendous source of pride for everyone at Walmart."

Walmart adjusted its operating hours to help make it easier for associates to stock and perform enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.

Store hours

Effective March 19 Walmart stores adjusted operating hours from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. This will further help associates restock the shelves for customers while continuing to clean and sanitize the store.

While the store hours change for customers, the associates will continue to have access to their regular scheduled shifts and full hours.

Special Hours

"We know our older customers could be more vulnerable to the Coronavirus and to better support them, Walmart is offering special shopping hours. From March 24 through April 28," said Smith. "Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older."

This will start one hour before the store opens. Pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.

Item limitations

"We know communities are counting on us more than ever and we are determined to serve the broadest number of customers and ensure they have access to the key items they are looking for," said Smith. "Our stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food."

Essential services

Walmart associates are working hard to have every part of the store ready to serve customers. To help support Walmart workers and focus on the most critical areas of the store right now, Walmart will temporarily shut down the auto care centers to allow those associates to focus on stocking and cleaning in the rest of the store.

Also, the vision centers will operate on their normal schedule, providing essential services only such as glasses repair and helping customers pick up existing orders.

Walmart will have at least one associate to serve the needs of the vision care customers, while the other associates will help in the rest of the store.