Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report will start taking the temperature of employees as they show up for work, in the latest defensive move by a big retailer on the front lines of the coronavirus.

The world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer said Tuesday that any employee who has a temperature of 100 degrees F. (37.8 degrees C.) or more will be paid for that day and sent home and will have to be fever-free for three days before returning to work. 

While noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that healthy people wear masks, Walmart said it would begin making masks and gloves available to employees who want them. 

The Bentonville, Ark., company said it had also rolled out an emergency-leave policy for workers who become ill due to Covid-19.

Walmart, which also is one of the country's largest grocers, has also been putting up plastic sneeze guards at checkout counters, joining supermarket chains like Kroger  (KR) - Get Report and Albertsons.

Walmart said it could take as long as three weeks to get infrared thermometers out to all its stores, while the masks will be available in a week or two. 

The retailer said the masks are not N95 respirators, which are in short supply and typically reserved for health-care workers.

Shares of Walmart at last check fell 1.2% to $113.85. They closed the regular session Monday up 5.1% at $115.19.

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has hit 164,610, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, making the nation a global hot spot for the deadly virus. There have been 3,170 deaths so far across the U.S.