Publix allowing some employees to wear gloves and masks amid COVID-19 outbreak

Florida’s largest grocery store chain is allowing some of its employees to take extra precautions against the Coronavirus.

The grocery store chain, with stores at Spanish Springs, Spanish Plaines, Southern Trace, Colony Cottage, Mulberry Grove, Lake Deaton and Grand Traverse Plaza, is allowing employees in “select job classes” to wear gloves and masks during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes those who work in the company’s pharmacies.

Publix is providing gloves for employees in high-customer-contact jobs while they are available. The grocer, however, won’t supply masks, as existing supplies need to be reserved for healthcare and medical professionals.

Publix also pointed out that even though it is providing some employees the option of wearing masks and gloves, “it’s important to understand” that healthcare officials say the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is to frequently wash hands, maintain social distancing and avoiding touching of the eyes, nose and mouth.

“Allowing the usage of masks and gloves does not mean that associates should discontinue or reduce these practices,” the grocery said.

This isn’t the first measure Publix has taken in the fight against COVID-19. The grocer recently joined with Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart to announce plans for Plexiglass-style sneeze guards to protect both customers and employees. The barriers are being located at places like cash registers, customer service desks, pharmacies and liquor counters.

Stores also are putting markers on the floors to encourage social distancing and encouraging customers to maintain safe distances while in line at the checkout stations. They’ve also instituted stringent cleaning efforts and have adjusted hours to allow more time for sanitizing counters and other surfaces and to restock shelves of high-demand products like toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

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