ORLANDO, Fla. — If certain essential Publix employees feel more comfortable wearing gloves and masks during the coronavirus pandemic, the company said it is now allowing them to do so.
The option is the latest step by the Lakeland-based Florida grocer to try to help its employees while also adapting its stores and services to meet current needs and criteria.
“We are deeply proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Director of Communications Maria Brous said in a statement.
She said Publix will provide gloves for employees while inventory is available, but noted that that inventory is already scarce. Masks, she said, will not be provided as those supplies are being reserved for heath care and medical professionals.
Brous said additional measures taken by the stores include:
- A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers.
- Continued cleaning and sanitization of stores.
- Sanitization of stores with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Quarantine and paid leave for 14 days for any associate who tests positive for COVID-19 to recover from the illness.
- Notification, quarantine and paid leave for up to 14 days for associates who have been in close contact with the associate who tests positive for COVID-19.
- The installation of Plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all stores.
- In-store signage and public address announcements reminding customers and associates of social distancing.
- Visual reminders of appropriate six-foot spacing via marked lines at registers.
- Adjusted store hours to allow more time to conduct additional disinfection measures and restock shelves.
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