Coronavirus: More supermarkets installing plexiglass dividers at checkout stands

Florida-based grocery chain Publix announced it will install plexiglass barriers to protect its cashiers, joining other retailers that are installing the shields to protect employees and customers from a coronavirus infection.

The supermarket chain said that all 1,200 locations should have the plexiglass partitions installed at the cash registers, customer service desks and pharmacies within two weeks.

“We’re taking extra precautions for the well-being of our customers and associates,” said Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix Super Markets Inc.

Publix has joined its biggest competitors, Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc., in installing the so-called “sneeze guards.”

Earlier this week, officials with the Giant Eagle grocery story chain announced several new changes in response to the coronavirus. The changes include installing plexiglass dividers to checkout and customer service areas. It will serve as a divider between employees and customers.

Giant Eagle will also be installing floor indicators and signage at checkout lanes, visually indicating appropriate social distance between guests.

In addition to the changes, the store is asking guests to refrain from bringing reusable bags.

H-E-B in Texas has installed sneeze guards at its checkout counters, KTRK reported.

The sneeze guards -- pieces of clear plastic that separate customers and checkers -- were first installed in the Houston stores, but H-E-B officials said they plan to install them in all of their stores, KVUE reported. They were added in Corpus Christi on Friday, KRIS-TV reported.

"We wanted to make sure that we protect, not only our customers, but our H-E-B partners as well,” H-E-B regional spokeswoman Regina Garcia told the television station.

In addition to the sneeze guards, H-E-B has placed social-distancing markers in checkout lanes, KRIS reported. That encourages shoppers to stay three to six feet away from one another.

H-E-B officials said it has also designated a COVID-19 manager at each store, who will be responsible for sanitizing the store twice a day, KTRK reported.

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