As we continue to monitor and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance, we have made the decision to allow our associates, who are not normally required to wear gloves and masks, the option, unless required by local ordinance, to wear this personal protective equipment (PPE), for the duration of this national emergency.
Although not required, Publix is able to provide masks and gloves for associates, while inventory is available. Inventory is already scarce, and we anticipate it to become even more limited in the very near future as existing supplies continue to be reserved for healthcare and medical professionals. For the same reason, disposable plastic gloves can only be distributed to associates in high-customer contact areas (Pharmacy, Customer Service, and checkout) while supplies last. Associates in areas required to wear gloves, will continue having access to disposable gloves in their department. Associates in other areas are permitted to wear gloves and may bring their own non-latex/cloth gloves to wear.
While all associates will have the option of wearing masks and gloves, unless required by local ordinance, it’s important to understand that all official advice from public health organizations state that washing hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding touching of the eyes, nose, and mouth are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Allowing the usage of masks and gloves does not mean that associates should discontinue or reduce these practices.