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Home Depot is halting the sale of its N95 masks and redirecting them to hospitals, health care providers and first responders to offset the national shortage of personal protective equipment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. continues to face a shortage of critical medical supplies including testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer as cases of the virus topped 874,000 people worldwide.
"As our communities battle COVID-19, The Home Depot is committed to providing the essential needs required to maintain homes and businesses while doing our best to protect our valued customers and associates," said Home Depot CEO Craig Menear.
An employee assists customers at a Home Depot store in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 25, 2019. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Aside from donating medical supplies, the retailer is now requiring employees to perform health checks before reporting to work. Thermometers are being distributed to employees across its stores and distribution centers.
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If an employee is required to be quarantined, they will be given up to 14 days paid time off, one of several benefits enhancements Home Depot created to take care of employees during the unprecedented crisis.
Last month, the retailer adjusted its hours of operation to give stores additional time to sanitize and restock shelves for the following business day.
Additionally, the company limited the number of shoppers allowed inside the store during regular business hours and posted signs promoting social and physical distancing practices.