Publix Super Markets reported that an employee at a store in Cumming, Ga., has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Publix said late Monday that it received confirmation for the diagnosis from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The associate works at Publix store No. 0026 in the Cruse Marketplace shopping center at 1735 Buford Highway in Cumming.
In announcing the confirmed COVID-19 case, Publix said the store has completed a “disinfection-level deep cleaning” according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Agriculture and Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer noted that the Georgia Department of Public Health said customers at the Cumming store are at low risk of exposure to coronavirus and the products sold there don’t represent a risk to customers.
“At Publix, the health and well-being of our associates, our customers and our communities remains our top priority,” Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous said in a statement. “Following our disinfection protocol and with the support of the public health department, the store is operating normal business hours. We are thinking of our associate and their family during this time and wishing them a swift recovery.”
Publix already had instituted comprehensive safety measures amid the coronavirus outbreak. Efforts have included a heightened disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touchpads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers; in-store changes such as suspending food demonstrations; and adjusted store hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all stores) to provide more time for preventive sanitation and restocking products on shelves for the next day.
The supermarket chain also has added a designated shopping hour for seniors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 a.m., including Publix Pharmacy.
And to help meet rising demand for groceries as consumers lock down in their homes, Publix said it’s looking to hire thousands of associates by the end of March to fill positions in its stores and distribution centers.
People from service, manufacturing, warehousing and other industries who have been laid off during the COVID-19 economic shutdown are encouraged to apply for positions, according to Publix.
Jobs are available at stores across the retailer’s seven-state operating area and at nine distribution centers in Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Miami, Orlando and Sarasota, Fla.; Lawrenceville, Ga.; and McCalla, Ala.
“We take pride in serving our communities during times of need, and with the unprecedented demand we are experiencing, we’re in need of more associates to help across our operating area,” said Publix Vice President of Human Resources Marcy Benton.
Overall, Publix operates 1,243 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.