A Publix associate at a South Venice store recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

SOUTH VENICE — A worker at Publix in Venice Village Shoppes tested positive for COVID-19.

The supermarket is at Jacaranda Boulevard and U.S. 41 in South Venice.

“We can confirm that we have an associate who works at the store No. 384 (located at) 4173 S. Tamiami Trail … (who has) has tested positive for COVID-19,” said Maria Brous, director of communications for Publix out of Lakeland, in an email sent to the Gondolier on Monday.

Per company policy, all Publix associates who worked directly with the associate have been notified and will self-quarantine — on paid leave — at home for a 14-day period as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The associate who tested positive will, likewise, be placed on paid leave and self-quarantine for 14 days.

“We are proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Brous said. “And, we thank our customers for continuing to trust us with providing them with the goods and services they need.”

She said Publix workers and families have been “personally impacted” by the pandemic, much like other essential workers.

“As public health officials have indicated, we expect to see an increase in cases as the virus spreads in our communities,” she said.

An associate at the same supermarket tested positive back in late April.

Publix officials declined to state how many associates have tested positive at the store, or others nearby, citing differing testing and reporting of cases by health departments.

“(We) will continue to be keenly focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in all our stores,” Brous said.

Publix shopper Deanna Lattanzio took the news in stride.

“It happens,” she said outside the store. “No, it won’t keep me away from shopping there. Publix is very clean and their employees are always so helpful. It’s a pleasure shopping there. Just make sure to wear your mask.”

Brous said the following precautions have been taken at all Publix Super Markets:

• Requiring associates to wear face coverings.

• A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers.

• Continued cleaning and sanitization of stores.

• The installation of plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all stores.

• In-store signage, one-way directional aisles, and public address announcements reminding customers and associates of social distancing.

• Visual reminders of appropriate six-foot spacing via marked lines at registers.

• Adjusted store hours to allow more time to conduct additional disinfection measures and restock shelves.


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