DALLAS - Walmart is abruptly closing some stores around the country, including here in North Texas, where it says COVID-19 infection rates are high.
The company said the closures are temporary, to allow time for the stores to be sanitized.
Businesses across the country continue to adjust with the omicron surge.
The Uptown Dallas Walmart is one of several across the country closed until Saturday to be cleaned as a COVID precaution.
All afternoon Thursday, Walmart Neighborhood Market customers at the store on Lemmon Avenue were turned away.
Walmart announced Thursday that stores like that one, in counties with high COVID infections, would temporarily close until New Year's Day.
"I wanted to get Vitamin Water for my son. My oldest son tested positive," customer Russell Masek said.
"We were going to just pick up a couple things we needed for the evening," Mike Everett said.
Everett and his friends came in town from Alabama for Friday’s Cotton Bowl College Football Playoff game.
"I hope everything goes well out here. I was not aware this was a high number area, but it is what it is," Everett said. "This is a strange time we are living in right now."
Texas' COVID positivity rate is now nearly 27%, meaning one in every four people who get tested are positive.
In a statement, Walmart said they are starting a new initiative to assist health officials.
As part of the initiative, a third-party company will sanitize stores and give employees time to re stock shelves.
"I think it’s a great idea. Let’s do all we can and trust God to get us through this crazy time," Masek said.
In cities like Milwaukee, two Walmart stores closed for a deep clean.
FILE - Walmart storefront sign (Photo credit: Walmart)
Stores in Colorado, Louisiana, and other states also temporarily closed Thursday.
Earlier this week, Apple closed two stores in Dallas, one at North Park Mall and the other on Knox Henderson.
There were 18 other locations closed nationwide.
Apple said the closure was due to a COVID outbreak with employees.
"I guess we shouldn't be surprised under the circumstances," Everett said.
The Walmart store will re-open at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Like other employers, Walmart is offering financial incentives for employees to get vaccinated.