Florida-based grocery store chain Publix has announced that, effective July 21, shoppers are required to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix store. Publix has also created one-way aisles and marked out six-foot increments at checkouts to maintain social distancing; it's also allowing managers to limit the number of shoppers in stores at any given time.
In implementing the mask policy, Publix joins the ranks of other national retailers like Costco, Apple, Best Buy, Walmart, Sam's Club, Target, CVS, Kroger and Kohl's, all of which are now making face masks mandatory for shoppers. The move comes amid a surge of infections in the South and West, including Florida, which on Thursday reported 13,965 new COVID-19 cases and 156 deaths. Sarasota Memorial Hospital said in an update this week that it is currently out of convalescent plasma and the antiviral drug remdesivir, and all three Manatee County hospitals are at capacity, according to the Bradenton Herald.