Publix reduces hours amid coronavirus scare and barren shelves
A few containers of disinfecting wipes remain on the shelves at a Publix supermarket in Miami Shores. Image via AP.

publix
The company is trying to keep up with stocking its shelves.

Publix is reducing its hours at all stores beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday, the Florida-based company tweeted Saturday morning.

Despite some confusion, as reported in comments to the tweet, the store is not closing entirely.

“To better serve our customers, give our store teams time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on our shelves, beginning Saturday, March 14 we will adjust store and pharmacy hours companywide to close at 8 p.m. until further notice,” the grocer announced.

 

Stores throughout the company’s market, which includes Florida and other states in the southeast, have been running low on sanitary supplies like hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Toilet paper has also been flying off the shelf as people prepare for self-isolation at home.

Photos shared in a variety of markets on social media have shown barren shelves, lacking everything ranging from produce to cleaning supplies.

Publix Supermarkets will still open at 7 a.m. as usual. The stores typically close at 10 p.m., reducing hours in most stores by two hours.

Other grocers have not yet announced changes to operating hours and the company’s delivery program Shipt is still operating.

The company’s announcement comes one day after ABC Fine Wine & Spirits assured customers it would stay open.

Both companies are also increasing cleaning procedures to ensure a sanitary store as fears about the coronavirus continue to deepen.

Health officials have recommended people practice social distancing as much as possible, a practice that involves avoiding unnecessary interaction with other people.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also recommended local governments cancel large-scale events where 250 people or more might gather, leading to a mass cancellation of events throughout the state.

On Friday, the Florida Board of Education ordered all K-12 schools close for two weeks. Most Florida school districts are already closed one week for spring break, minimizing the impact to students and teachers.

So far 70 Florida residents have bee diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health’s most recent tally. That’s up from 45 just one day ago.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


One comment

  • Thomas Knapp

    March 14, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    If X people are going to go to the store, reducing hours means that more of those people are going to be mingling more closely with each other. As a containment measure, it seems like the opposite of the way to go.

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