Publix now allowing employees option to wear gloves, masks through duration of coronavirus pandemic

MIAMI – In addition to recently installing plexiglass at cash registers and customer service counters in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Publix announced Tuesday that it is now allowing employees the option to wear gloves and masks through the duration of the pandemic.

“We are deeply proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Publix spokeswoman Nicole Maristany Krauss told Local 10 News in an email.

According to Maristany Krauss, Publix Super Markets is following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She said Publix is providing gloves to associates while inventory is available, but is not providing masks, “as existing supplies need to be reserved for healthcare and medical professionals.”

“Although we are providing associates the option of wearing masks and gloves for their personal comfort, it’s important to understand that all official advice from public health organizations state that washing hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding touching of the eyes, nose, and mouth are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Maristany Krauss said. “Allowing the usage of masks and gloves does not mean that associates should discontinue or reduce these practices.”

Below is a list of other protective measures Publix has taken:

· A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers.

· 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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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for