COVID-19 live updates: Walmart drops mask requirement for vaccinated workers

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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 919,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 64.4% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Feb 14, 8:00 am
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Feb 14, 7:37 am
Walmart drops mask requirement for vaccinated workers

Walmart employees in the U.S. who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to wear masks.

“Unvaccinated associates will be required to continue wearing masks until further notice,” company officials said in a memo obtained by ABC News.

Friday’s policy update was effective immediately for most employees, aside from those working in regions where state or local rules require retail staff to wear masks, the memo said. Associates working in clinical settings or with patients will also still be required to wear masks.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any changes,” the memo said.

The company, the largest private retail employer in the U.S., will also end its COVID-19 emergency leave policy for most employees at the end of March, the memo said.

ABC News’ Caroline Rotante and Matt Foster

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