As we continue to monitor and follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance, we have made the decision, beginning Monday, April 20, to require associates to wear face coverings for the duration of this national emergency. Associates in positions who are not normally required to wear gloves may voluntarily wear them, if they can safely perform their job duties.
Publix is providing face coverings for all associates and gloves for select 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 health care and medical professionals. For the same reason, disposable plastic gloves can only be distributed to associates in high-customer contact areas (Pharmacy and Customer Service) while supplies last. Once Publix’s supplies of face coverings are depleted, associates are required to provide their own face covering to wear to work. 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 their own commercially available disposable non-latex gloves.
Gloves may be required by local ordinance. However, it’s important to understand all official advice from public health organizations state 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 the coronavirus. Requiring face coverings and allowing the use of gloves does not mean associates should discontinue or reduce these practices.