EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (WGN/CNN) - Two workers at a Chicago-area Walmart died of the novel coronavirus.
The city's mayor suspended the Walmart store's liquor license after learning of the two employees' deaths. (Source: WGN/CNN)
WGN identified the two men as Phillip Thomas and Wando Evans. Thomas had worked at the store for nine years, and Evans had been an overnight maintenance worker since 2006.
"There are no words to express the loss of the two associates at our Evergreen Park store and we are mourning alongside their families," Walmart said in a statement. "Neither associate had been at the store for at least the last week."
Walmart instituted new safety measures last week aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including limits on the number of people allowed per store at one time.
Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton suspended the store's liquor license after learning of the two employees' deaths.
"I think it was a wakeup call for them to get in touch with us and not just be sending out press releases that local authorities don’t know about," Sexton said.
He said that got the company's attention, and executives from Walmart reached out to his office.
"They explained the timing of this whole thing, apologized for the way it was handled and assured me that they’re taking steps to make sure that everybody, employees and customers, are safe," he said.
Walmart representatives said the store has been sanitized and passed two separate inspections.
Sexton said he was satisfied with the safety precautions the store is taking and renewed the liquor license.
"Whatever we have to do to keep people safe; it’s not about a buck right now, it’s about keeping people safe," Sexton said.
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