Another Publix employee in The Villages has tested positive for COVID-19 – bringing the total at the popular grocery store chain to four.
The latest employee to test positive works at the store in the Spanish Plaines Shopping Center, located at 1566 Bella Cruz Drive. The three others who had tested positive work at the following stores:
- Grand Traverse Plaza in Brownwood;
- Southern Trace Shopping Plaza on Wedgewood Lane; and
- La Plaza Grande on Bichara Boulevard (not in the past 14 days).
Seven other employees at stores located in Ocala and Leesburg also have tested positive for the potentially deadly virus. They are employed at the following stores:
- 10601 U.S. Hwy. 441 in Leesburg (not in the past 14 days);
- 7578 SE Maricamp Rd. Ste. 100 in Ocala;
- 3035 SE Maricamp Rd. in Ocala;
- 8075 SW Hwy. 200, Unit 111, in Ocala;
- 303 SE 17th Street in Ocala (not in the past 14 days);
- 3450 E Silver Springs Blvd. in Ocala (not in the past 14 days); and
- 2655 NE 35th St. in Ocala (not in the past 14 days).
Maria Brous, who serves as director of communications for Publix, said employees have worked extremely hard to take care of customers and each other through this 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.
Publix is headquartered in Lakeland and is an employee-owned company. In addition to Florida where there are more than 800 stores, the grocery store chain has locations in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.