Grocers adjusting to coronavirus pandemic with new precautions

Publix, Winn-Dixie among grocers installing plexiglass shields at registers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Grocery stores have remained open and business has been booming throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

They’ve also been at the forefront of rigorous cleaning and sanitizing standards, even taking things a step further and installing plexiglass partitions at some of the major points of contact between cashiers and customers.

Walk into a major grocery store like a Publix or a Winn-Dixie and there’s a good chance an employee will be at the entrance wiping down shopping carts. Check out now, or very soon, at one of those local grocers and chances are you’ll interact with a cashier much like you would a bank teller.

"The grocery store is the only place I go to so it's nice to know at least when I have to make this trip, which is a necessity that I feel a little more safe than being out in public in other places," said Angel Mieli, a customer at Winn-Dixie.

Grocers are facing the ever-changing pandemic in new ways, too.

Both Winn-Dixie and Publix have announced that they would have plexiglass partitions installed at checkout lines. At the Winn-Dixie off of Baymeadows Road, those partitions are already up at various points of sale in the store like the pharmacy, customer service counter and liquor store. Publix also said this week that it will have the partitions at checkout lines within two weeks.

“We’re taking extra precautions for the well-being of our customers and associates,” said Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix Super Markets Inc.

Winn-Dixie and Publix are not the only grocers taking those precautions. According to the Associated Press, Giant Eagle grocery stores in Ohio, the Kroger supermarket chain as well as Walmart have made announcements to installing partitions or “sneeze guards,” at registers.

"Every little thing helps I think,” said customer Frank Mandola.

About the Authors: