UPDATE: Spectrum Bay News 9's Josh Rojas has confirmed another Clearwater Publix has “associate(s)” who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. The fact that in this letter they make it plural, leads me to believe there’s multiple employee at this store who tested positive.
The store (866) is located at 1555 S. Highland Avenue in Clearwater.
CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Publix employee in Clearwater recently tested positive for COVID-19 and those associates who worked directly with that person are in self-quarantine, according to an internal email we obtained.
- Spokesperson: Company "keenly focused on ... protective measures"
- No information released on position held by employee who tested positive
- More coronavirus stories
The Human Resources email that all Publix employees received on Wednesday stated that shortly after being notified of the affected employee's condition, grocery store 1160, located at Belcher Road and Gulf To Bay Boulevard, was appropriately cleaned and disinfected based on CDC guidelines.
The employee tipster who sent us the internal email on a condition of anonymity because they're not authorized to speak to the media said they believe Publix should notify the public about positive test results.
Publix director of communications Maria Brous said because testing varies from state-to-state they "cannot fully and accurately report cases in real time, but we have been, and will continue to be keenly focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in all our stores."
Brous also said, "Like other essential service providers, we have seen our own associates and their families personally impacted by COVID-19 ... and we expect to see an increase in cases as the virus spreads in our communities."
Brous did not respond to a request for more information about the incident, including the position the employee who tested positive held.
Publix provides paid leave for up to 14 days for employees who test positive for coronavirus and for associates who have been in close contact with that person.
According to the email, the safety of Publix associates, their families and customers is their number one priority. Publix is currently in the process of installing plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all of their stores.