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Dunedin Publix worker tests positive for COVID-19

Case marks the third Publix worker to test positive in Pinellas County.
Customers come and go from the Publix store at 1075 South Pasadena Avenue, South Pasadena, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Customers come and go from the Publix store at 1075 South Pasadena Avenue, South Pasadena, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Apr. 6, 2020

DUNEDIN — A third Pinellas County Publix employee has tested positive for coronavirus.

The employee works at the 1491 Main St. store in Dunedin. The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that two other employees in Pinellas County at two separate stores tested positive.

Publix does not release updates of positive cases. The supermarket confirmed the case after the Times obtained an internal memo.

“The testing and reporting of cases by health departments varies widely state-by-state,” spokeswoman Maria Brous said in a 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.”

Publix’s other affected stores in Pinellas County are at 525 S Belcher Road and 1555 S Highland Ave. The chain says it thoroughly cleans and disinfects its stores.

Employees at the Dunedin store were told the affected employee was quarantining at home, as were those who worked closely with the worker.

“We feel transparency in this emerging public health situation is of utmost importance in order to ensure the health and safety of Publix associates, your families and our customers," Publix wrote in the memo to staff.

Those are the same comments Publix made to workers following last week’s cases.

Publix has told employees in certain departments they could begin wearing disposable face masks and gloves. The chain is also installing small “sneeze guards” made of plexiglass at registers.

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