ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- An Albuquerque Walmart becomes the second store owned by the retail giant to be forced by the state of New Mexico to close for extensive deep cleaning, as a result of confirmed coronavirus cases among its employees.
Last month, state officials - with the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham - ordered the temporary closure of the Rinconada Walmart in Las Cruces after four employees at the store there tested positive for the virus.
A Walmart corporate spokesperson confirmed the state-ordered closure of the store in southwest Albuquerque in a statement issued Thursday evening...
"At the direction of the New Mexico Environmental Department earlier today, we temporarily closed the store located at 3500 Coors Blvd. SW for additional third-party cleaning following reports of Covid-19 cases among store associates."
"None of the associates listed in the Department's notice have been in the facility since its most recent independent deep-cleaning more than a week ago, and we have a professional crew en route to address the matter tonight."
At the time of the Las Cruces store closure last month, Lujan Grisham directly criticized Walmart and said that "the state has zero tolerance for unsafe practices (because) stores disregarding Covid-safe practices place their entire community and our state at risk."