New protection measures in Publix

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Pensacola, Florida

Publix now allows some employees to wear masks and gloves

But there are no reusable fabrics or masks, and some workers are prohibited from wearing them. Also, they must bring their own masks.

Prior to this week, Publix ATMs were not allowed to wear gloves or face masks while handling orders and verifying customers amid the spread of the coronavirus.

According to employee brochures, the Lakeland-based chain now creates a new voluntary mask-and-glove policy. Publix says PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can be used for the “personal comfort” of some employees.

Prior to this week, Publix ATMs were not allowed to wear gloves or face masks while handling orders and verifying customers amid the spread of the coronavirus.

According to employee brochures, the Lakeland-based chain now creates a new voluntary mask-and-glove policy. Publix says PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can be used for the “personal comfort” of some employees.

The only employees authorized to wear gloves are those who handle cash. If Publix runs out of gloves, employees can bring theirs. Cloth and latex gloves are not allowed.

“Remember that gloves can spread infectious diseases as easily as your own hands,” Publix says in the brochures.

The company reminds employees that gloves should be replaced regularly, especially if they are dirty or broken, or if they come in contact with the face or mouth, or if they come in contact with blood or leaking meat packages.

Employees have been discussing why they haven’t been able to wear masks and gloves for weeks on message boards like Reddit. More than 7,500 Publix employees signed a petition from CoWorkers.org requesting a risk allowance at least 1.5 times while working on this epidemic. The petition says Publicex employs approximately 89,000 part-time workers who do not have paid leave due to sick leave.

Publix says that any employee wearing COVID-19 will be given a 14-day paid leave. Those who have been in “close contact” with this employee will also receive paid leave of up to 14 days.

The store installed glass partitions in pharmacies, customer service offices, and cash registers. Publix also says it has a high antiseptic program that targets touch pads, knobs, phones, and computers.

Retailers take a series of steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus, in part driven by government requirements that maintain the social space among customers.

At the target, for example, signs in front of stores and floor decals in exit lanes determine where people should stop. In addition, the passages are cleaned after each treatment and are used to allow deep cleaning.

Winn-Dixie Southeastern Grocers parent company provided its employees with disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.

Meanwhile, Walmart has announced plans to begin evaluating employees, including for mild fever, using infrared thermometers. Employees with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be sent home.

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