A spokesperson for Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets, Inc., confirmed on March 26 that the grocery store chain would be installing plexiglass partitions on a companywide basis as part of the response to the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re taking extra precautions for the well-being of our customers and associates,” explained Maria Brous, the Director of Communications for Publix. “I can confirm that we will be installing plexiglass company-wide at our registers, customer service desks and pharmacies. Installations will begin this weekend, and we expect to conclude within the next two weeks.”
Reports of Publix’s intent to install the plexiglass came after, on March 23, the company issued a statement confirming that an employee at one of its supermarkets in Georgia had tested positive for the virus.
Staff announced that the particular store had completed a disinfection-level deep cleaning of the premises in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Department of Public Health.
As part of Publix’s general response to COVID-19, the company had already implemented a heightened disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces such as touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers. It had also taken in-store measures, such as suspending food demonstrations.
Additionally, to allow staff at individual stores more time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on shelves for the next day, Publix adjusted store hours its store hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all stores. Stores also added a designated senior shopping hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 a.m.
Company-wide, Publix is seeking to hire thousands of associates by the end of March to fill positions in its stores and distribution centers.
“We take pride in serving our communities during times of need, and with the unprecedented demand we are experiencing, we’re in need of more associates to help across our operating area,” said Publix Vice President of Human Resources Marcy Benton. “We’re looking for people who have a desire to serve, are passionate about the food industry, are willing to work hard and ready to build a career at Publix.”
Various positions are available at stores throughout the company’s seven-state operating area and at nine distribution centers, including those in Lakeland and Orlando. Interested individuals should fill out an online application at www.publix.jobs.