Coronavirus: Here are the changes you’ll see at Publix stores

Some changes you may notice the next time you shop at a Publix store.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The next time you shop at a Publix store, you may notice some changes.

The grocery chain has beefed up its efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus by making sure people keep a safe distance from each other while shopping.

As you enter the store, an employee greets you at the door and briefly explains how they are now controlling the flow of shoppers through the store.

But you have to pay close attention to taped markers on the floor. Publix is using the arrows, which are made of tape, on the floor to direct customers as they make their way through the store. Now, when you’re looking for a specific food item in a specific aisle, you’re expected to follow the arrows, which take you in a single direction as opposed to walking in the direction of oncoming shoppers. This measure was put in place to prevent shopping aisles from becoming too cluttered with people. It’s one method of allowing shoppers to keep a safe distance from each other to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think that will help people because, otherwise, normally, they’re coming at both ends, and if they stop to pick up something, it blocks the aisle and you’re now closer," said shopper Susan Woodlie. "So this hopefully keeps the flow of traffic moving.”

“We actually thought they were very helpful in keeping us in the direction we should be," shopper Tanaya St. Angelao. "Everyone was respecting the guidelines of staying far apart whether they had a mask or no mask.”

Publix is also making sure people who are waiting in line to cash a check or return an item aren’t too close to each other by placing pieces of tape 6 feet apart on the floor as markers. Also, every employee working behind a cash register now has a plexiglass barrier between them and the customer. It’s another way of preventing the coronavirus from being spread.

And these changes haven’t gone unnoticed.

“It really seemed like they were caring about keeping everybody safe,” St. Angelao said.

An employee at the Publix store on San Jose Boulevard said, this weekend, they will likely control the flow of people coming into the store to prevent having too many people inside at one time.

Last week, News4Jax also reported Publix was allowing store employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.

Here are some of the other safety precautions that Publix has announced:

  • A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touchpads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers;
  • Continued cleaning and sanitization of stores;
  • 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;
  • 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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