KEARNY — In response to a surge in COVID-19 cases throughout New Jersey and the U.S., a Walmart Supercenter announced that it is closing its doors to the public on Thursday, the same day another Walmart location reopened after temporarily shutting down for the same reason.

The Kearny location at 150 Harrison Ave. was scheduled to temporarily close at 2 p.m. Thursday, and is scheduled to reopen to customers at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1.

Walmart did not mention whether there are pressing COVID-19 issues among the location's staff, but instead said it's making the move as part of an "ongoing company-initiated program."

"This will allow extra time for a third-party specialist to further sanitize the store and will also give our associates additional time to restock shelves and prepare the store to once again serve the community," said an announcement from Walmart's corporate affairs team.

"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 and health experts."

Walmart noted that it is requiring employees to wear masks in company buildings that are located in counties with substantial or high transmission, according to CDC data. As of Thursday afternoon, transmission in every New Jersey county is considered high.

Walmart on Routes 1&9 in Linden reopened at 6 a.m. Thursday after a shutdown that began Tuesday afternoon. Walmart denied a claim by store workers that over 90 employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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