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West Boca Raton Publix employee tests positive for coronavirus

Employee at Trader Joe's in Delray Beach also tests positive
Publix at Clint Moore Road and US 441 tests positive for coronavirus
Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 08:33:07-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — An employee at a Publix west of Boca Raton has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the Florida-based supermarket chain said Monday.

The associate works at the Publix at the corner of Clint Moore Road and U.S. Highway 441, Publix spokeswoman Nicole Krauss said in an email to WPTV NewsChannel 5.

"The store has completed a disinfection-level deep cleaning in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in addition to our daily cleaning and sanitation protocols," she said.

Publix also announced Monday that it is giving store employees the option of wearing masks and gloves "for the duration of this national emergency."

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Employees who want to wear masks and gloves "for their personal comfort" will be permitted to do. However, Publix has a limited supply of gloves for associates and will not supply masks "as existing supplies need to be reserved for healthcare and medical professionals."

"I'm sure everybody is doing everything that needs to do to protect everybody. It's a flu which there is no remedy to it at this point," one customer said.

It is the latest in a series of steps taken by Publix to combat the spread of the virus.

Publix has limited its store hours at all locations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow employees more time to clean and restock products. All stores open an hour earlier on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for seniors only.

The supermarket chain is also installing Plexiglass barriers at its registers, customer service desks and pharmacies.

Trader Joe's also confirmed that an employee at its Delray Beach location tested positive, but the employee hadn't been at the store for about a week and the store has been cleaned.

"It's not going to stop me from going and buying because they make us put the hand sanitizer. They don't let more than 25 people, or even 10 people, in this store," customer Lauren Jones said.