The three major grocery store chains in The Villages are taking extra precautions against the COVID-19 virus by adding Plexiglass-style sneeze guards to protect both customers and employees.
Publix, Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart have announced that the barriers will be located at places like cash registers, customer service desks, pharmacies and liquor store counters. Installations are beginning as soon as possible and area expected to be completed in the next two to three weeks.
Publix will be installing the barriers at all 1,200 of its stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The grocery chain also has put into place a heightened disinfection program and suspended food demonstrations in all stores until further notice.
Wal-Mart is installing floor decals near checkout stations to remind customers to stay at least six feet apart while waiting to pay for their items. The stores also are focusing on constant cleaning efforts, including the use of two-gallon sprayer kits to sanitize carts quicker and more thoroughly.
In addition to the sneeze shields, Winn-Dixie plans to initiate a two-cart-length distance between customers at checkout lanes by utilizing floor markers to encourage and maintain social distancing of at least six feet. Stores also will continue to modify hours when needed to allow for a deeper, comprehensive cleaning process to assure that customers “can continue to shop confidently and safely.”
Publix stores in The Villages are located at Spanish Springs, Spanish Plaines, Southern Trace, Colony Cottage, Mulberry Grove, Lake Deaton and Grand Traverse Plaza. Winn-Dixie stores are located in the La Plaza Grande shopping center near Spanish Springs Town Square, Lake Sumter Landing and the Pinellas Plaza.
Wal-Mart Supercenters are located in and around Florida’s Friendliest Hometown at 4085 Wedgewood Lane, 17961 U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in Summerfield and 2501 Citrus Blvd. in Leesburg. A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market also is located in The Villages at the Sarasota Plaza off County Road 466 near the Colony Cottage Shopping Center.