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Publix to require all employees to wear masks again

Facial coverings still optional for shoppers, company spokeswoman says
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jul 30, 2021

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix will once again require all employees -- vaccinated or not -- to wear facial coverings starting Monday as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement released Friday, a company spokeswoman said masks are still optional for shoppers, but "we encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19."

In addition, all Publix employees are encouraged, but not required, to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The decision from Publix comes two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, wear masks indoors in parts of the country with "substantial and high transmission" like South Florida.

According to the Florida Department of Health, every county in Florida, with the exception of Glades County, now has a "high" level of community transmission.

COVID-19 community transmission map on July 29, 2021.jpg
COVID-19 community transmission map on July 29, 2021.