Coronavirus: Publix letting employees don masks & gloves

The grocery chain is providing gloves to workers while supplies are available

File photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Publix is taking yet another step to protect people from the coronavirus by allowing store employees to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.

Out of concern for employees’ personal comfort, the grocery chain is now letting workers don masks and gloves, a company spokesperson told News4Jax via email on Tuesday.

Even as workers have permission to wear protective gear, Publix is only able to outfit employees with gloves while supplies last. Masks, meanwhile, will not be provided.

“Inventory is already scarce, and we anticipate it to become even more limited in the very near future,” the spokesperson said. “Similarly, we will not supply masks to associates as existing supplies need to be reserved for healthcare and medical professionals.”

Besides letting employees gear up, Publix has already announced plans to install plexiglass barriers at various points of sale inside its locations. Other safety precautions include:

  • A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, 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.