Orlando, FL

Florida COVID surge prompts Publix to bring back masks for employees

Evie M.

In the wake of the recent "surge" of Coronavirus cases---topping numbers that haven't been seen since January (17,589 daily cases), the popular grocery chain Publix has made a motion to require employees to wear masks again. Following giant companies like Walt Disney World, who is now requiring guests "2 and older" to don masks indoors, and Universal Orlando who's bringing back indoor face coverings in indoor guest areas.

Publix's decision is in reponse to Jerry Demings' state of emergency declaration Wednesday where he "urged people to wear masks indoors." Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous says each one of Publix's 225,000 employees at their 1,270 must "follow the rule regardless of their vaccination status."

However, as far as vaccinations go, Brous says, "we continue to encourage, but not require, our associates to get vaccinated In May. To entice employees to vaccinate, back in February a $125 gift card was offered to those who got the shot.

What about guests visiting their favorite Publix? While there are no changes to the rules for shoppers, Publix is urging shoppers to "follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance" that suggests everyone---including fully vaccinated people---wear a mask indoors in "coronavirus hot spots."

The masks make a return after the mandate was dropped for vaccinated employees and customers last May in accordance with the CDC's announcement that fully vaccinated people could go without masks in most places excluding medical fascilities, public transport, and other government-selected areas.

The mandate for Publix employees will begin on Aug. 2nd.

What are your thoughts about the new rules for employees?



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