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Publix now selling branded face masks after previously banning employees from wearing them

As of April 20, all employees are required to wear face masks while working in stores.
Credit: First Coast News

The Florida-based grocery chain that once prohibited employees from wearing masks is now requiring them and selling branded ones to customers.

The Publix Company Store is selling branded two- or 10-packs of green face masks with the Publix "P" on them. It's also selling a green "neck gaiter" which is like a scarf that covers your nose and mouth.

A two-pack of masks is $15.95 and a 10-pack is $67.79. The site said both packs will ship on or before May 27. The neck gaiter is $12.95.

As of April 30, the website says the masks are sold out.

At the beginning of April, the Lakeland-based company announced it would allow all employees to wear masks and gloves in stores to protect against the coronavirus. Previously, only employees whose job required such protective measures were allowed to wear them.

When asked about the new branded face masks, Publix sent the following statement to 10News:

We value the health and safety of our associates and customers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance as it continues to learn more about the coronavirus. Their recommendations indicate wearing any type of face covering in public places can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

As a result during this national emergency, we are requiring associates to wear face coverings, beginning April 20. Recently, Publix provided store associates with two cloth face coverings in addition to the original face covering they received. 

While we collaborate with Partner Marketing Group, they are a separate entity and Publix does not benefit from their sales. 

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As of April 20, all employees are required to wear face masks while working in stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said masks are being provided to employees until supplies run out. Once that happens, employees are required to provide their own face coverings.

Earlier this month, Publix said it has been working to install plexiglass shields at registers to protect cashiers. And, store aisles are now one-way to increase social distancing among shoppers.

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