Publix Super Markets Inc. will be installing plexiglass partitions to protect its cashiers and customers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in Florida.
The Lakeland-based grocer said Tuesday that all 1,200 locations should have plexiglass installed at the cash registers within the next two weeks.
“We have installed and tested the plexiglass and have decided to expand this effort companywide,” spokeswoman Maria Brous wrote in an email. “Installations will begin this weekend, and we expect to be completed within the next two weeks.”
Consumers continue to stock up on supplies and cook more at home after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered restaurants to operate on a takeout- and delivery-only basis.
Publix also has shared its intent to hire thousands by the end of March and has encouraged those who have lost their jobs due to the spread of coronavirus to apply.
The installation of plexiglass is intended to keep cashiers and customers safe as stores see unprecedented demand, but Publix will not allow its cashiers to wear masks and gloves at its cash registers. Kroger, a competitor of Publix in some regions on Tuesday said it would allow masks and gloves on its cashiers.
“The FDA and CDC do not recommend face masks for those working in the food industry,” Brous wrote. “If one is sick, then he/she should stay home. Regarding gloves, these need to be used in areas based on food handling positions or where [personal protective equipment] is required. Both agencies recommend continued focus on good hand hygiene, including proper hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.”
Publix recently cut its store hours to allow time for restocking and cleaning, and establish “special hours” for seniors to shop.
Nicole Krauss, a Publix spokeswoman, said Monday. “Last week alone, we delivered almost 12,000 truckloads to our stores. Our teams are diligently working to get our shelves restocked and conduct preventive cleaning measures to provide a safe and clean working and shopping experience.”