Publix implements new procedures to protect customers and employees

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

Publix stores, including Shelby County locations, have begun implementing new procedures to comply with state and federal guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of these changes include limiting stores to 50% occupancy, keeping people from congregating in certain areas and sanitizing the store. There are also new policies that will protect employees of the store that might be at risk or have been exposed to the virus.

“The health and well-being of our customers, associates and communities are our top priority,” said Nicole Krauss, Publix media relations manager.  “While we have posted in-store signage and added public address announcements, reminding customers and associates of social distancing, we want to do more.”

Some of these new policies are directed at protecting the employees of the stores, such as quarantine and paid leave for 14 days for employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. The same paid leave will be applied to those employees who have come in close contact with another associate who tested positive.

The company will also be installing plexiglass shelves at registers and customer service stations to protect associates.

“To help with customer traffic flow, we have added one-way directional markings to our aisles. This will allow customers and associates to better distance themselves while in the aisle,” Krauss explained.

There will be a “heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers,” according to Krauss.

To help with the sanitization and proper restocking of shelves, the stores will also be limiting their hours of operations.

“We are thankful to our customers for continuing to trust us with providing goods and services in our communities and taking personal precautionary measures before visiting us.”