Publix to again require employees to wear masks

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Pointing to new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Publix supermarket chain said Friday it will require employees to wear masks to try to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Effective August 2, Publix is requiring associates, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix location,” the Lakeland-based company said in a statement posted on its website. “We encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Customers and associates should remain physically distanced from others while inside any Publix store.”

Publix required masks earlier in the pandemic but is reinstating them after guidance issued Tuesday by the CDC. That guidance said all people, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in areas of “substantial or high” transmission.

Florida has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks because of the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

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