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Publix will install plexiglass to protect cashiers from COVID-19

It's not the only grocery chain taking action for employees.

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix announced it is working to install the plexiglass barriers as of Monday, March 30. 

The previous story is below.

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To help protect employees, Publix has announced plans to install plexiglass partitions to protect its cashiers. 

The Lakeland-based grocery chain, which operates 1,200 locations, says the partitions will be seen at all registers within the next two weeks. A spokesperson said installations would begin this weekend.

"I can confirm that we will be installing plexiglass companywide at our registers, customer service desks and pharmacies," Publix spokeswoman Mario Brous said. "Installations will begin this weekend, and we expect to conclude within the next two weeks."

The coronavirus pandemic sent shoppers scrambling to buy food.

At many grocery stores, bread and milk have been cleared off shelves by people trying to stock up.

As a growing number of regions consider "stay-at-home" orders, supermarkets will be unaffected because they're considered "essential" -- providing the necessary nourishment to families.

Around the globe, health experts are urging the public to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet apart and remaining home when possible. But, "essential" workers, like grocery store clerks, are still going in for their shifts to meet the high demand.

That's giving workers a lot of exposure to customers -- some of whom could have the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and not even know it.

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While Publix will install the barriers, other grocery chains have taken steps to protect their workforces. For instance, Kroger is allowing workers to wear gloves and masks. It, too, will install partitions at many cash registers.

At this point, Publix cashiers will not wear masks or gloves.

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