NEW YORK — Walmart is enacting an emergency leave policy for its 1.4 million hourly U.S. workers that allows them to take time off without penalty if they fear the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Walmart also says that hourly workers who work in a store, club, office or distribution center will receive up to two weeks pay if they are required to quarantine by the government or by the retailer. 

Workers who have a confirmed case of the virus will also receive two weeks of pay.  

The policy covers both Walmart and Sam's Club workers and includes part-time employees.  

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The nation's largest private employer said Tuesday that a worker at its store in Cynthiana, Kentucky, tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

The worker is receiving medical care and her condition is improving, according to an internal memo. The retailer consulted with state and local health experts after learning of the case, reinforced its cleaning and sanitizing protocol, and the store remains open after Walmart conferred with the state government.