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At least nine Publix employees have COVID-19 in Tampa Bay

The employees worked in six Pinellas County stores and two Hillsborough County stores.
Customers come and go from the Publix store at 1075 S Pasadena Avenue, South Pasadena, on March 25. The store has since confirmed an employee at this location tested positive for COVID-19.
Customers come and go from the Publix store at 1075 S Pasadena Avenue, South Pasadena, on March 25. The store has since confirmed an employee at this location tested positive for COVID-19. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Apr. 16, 2020|Updated Apr. 17, 2020

Publix has confirmed four more local cases of employees who have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of workers between Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties to nine. All but two of the cases are in Pinellas County.

Publix said employees have tested positive at the following locations:

  • 3700 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg
  • 2514 N McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater
  • 1075 Pasadena Ave. S in South Pasadena
  • 12139 W Linebaugh Ave. in Tampa

Publix confirmed the locations after the information was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. The Times reported five other cases last week, including one Dunedin store where two employees have tested positive. They are:

  • 1491 Main St. in Dunedin (two cases)
  • 4854 Sun City Center Blvd. in Sun City Center
  • 525 S Belcher Road in Clearwater
  • 1555 S Highland Ave. in Clearwater

“The testing and reporting of cases by health departments varies widely state-by-state,” Publix spokeswoman Marie Brous said in statement. “As a result, we 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.”

Based on news media reports, at least 33 Publix employees have tested positive for the virus in Florida.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union says at least 30 workers in the grocery and food processing industries have died because of the virus and another 3,000 have the virus or have been exposed to it. But that count likely doesn’t show the full pictures because it doesn’t include non-union grocers, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Publix.

“We are proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time,” Brous said in the statement. “Like other essential service providers, we have seen our own associates and their families personally impacted by COVID-19. Unfortunately, as public health officials have indicated, we expect to see an increase in cases as the virus spreads in our communities.”

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