By Jesse Kirsch, ABC7 News
We’re seeing more and more efforts to protect people from COVID-19, but the number of confirmed cases is still growing.
Friday night, the number of cases in Illinois jumped to more than 9,000, according to John Hopkins University & Medicine, and 210 people have died from the virus statewide.
Two of the most recent casualties includes two Walmart employees who worked at the same store at 95th and Western in Evergreen Park.
Starting Saturday, Walmart is taking new action to protect customers and employees who are still reporting to work. One of those new measures includes limiting the number of shoppers in stores.
Walmart said neither of these employees had been at the store for at least a week and the company said no issues were reported after a health department inspection.
The two men were identified as 51-year-old Wando Evans and 48-year-old Phillip Thomas.
According to the Cook County Medical Examiner, both men died from COVID-19 infection, as well as pneumonia. They both also had an underlying health condition listed as a contributing factor.
Walmart said it has since installed social distancing signage and is bringing in an outside company for additional cleaning and sanitizing.
FULL STATEMENT FROM WALMART
This is devastating news. There are no words to express the loss of the two associates at our Evergreen Park store and we are mourning alongside their families. Neither associate had been at the store for at least the last week and since that time, we’ve reinforced our cleaning and sanitizing measures which include a thorough deep-cleaning of key areas of the store and installed signage and floor decals to encourage social distancing. On March 31, the store passed a third-party safety and environmental compliance assessment. The health department also inspected the store and no issues were reported. We’re now taking the extra precaution of bringing in an outside company to further clean and sanitize the store. All of these measures are to ensure the safety and well-being of our associates and customers. We will continue to assess the situation and take additional steps as needed.
This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.