A third Publix employee in The Villages has tested positive for COVID-19.
The latest employee to be diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus in the mega-retirement community works at the store in the Grand Traverse Plaza near Brownwood. No specific information about that employee was provided by the grocery store’s corporate office.
The other two employees who tested positive work at the store in the Southern Trace Shopping Plaza on Wedgewood Lane and the store in La Plaza Grande on Bichara Boulevard. That second employee’s positive result came more than 14 days ago, according to Maria Brous, director of communications.
Brous said Publix employees have worked extremely hard to take care of customers and each other through such a difficult time. She added that the grocer remains focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in its more than 1,200 stores in seven states. She said those measures include:
- Continued cleaning and sanitization of stores.
- Requiring associates to wear face coverings.
- A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers.
- 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, one-way directional aisles 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.