By Anne Geggis
One employee who works at the Publix at Brookside Square has tested positive for COVID-19, the other employees at the store were told Monday.
Coral Springs Talk obtained the notice distributed to employees who were not in direct contact with the infected employee, at the 10701 Wiles Road supermarket. Those who were in direct contact with the COVID-19 case were “undertaking self-quarantine at home for the period recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” the notice from Publix says.
“It is our current understanding that you were not in direct contact with the affected associate; thus, we believe that your risk of exposure is low,” the notice distributed to the Publix employees says. “However, if you believe that you did have exposure to an affected associate with proven coronavirus infection, please reach out to your manager as soon as possible.”
The news comes as the state has been experiencing a spike in new COVID-19 cases. After hovering closer to 1,000 new cases confirmed daily over the past two weeks, 2,337 new cases were reported Saturday, and then 2,162 new cases were reported Sunday. Monday, 1,807 new cases were reported, according to the Florida Department of Health Department website.
With no vaccine against the potentially deadly infection, avoiding the infected is the only definite way to steer clear of the novel virus. After coming in direct contact with someone with the virus, the CDC advises people to stay home for 14 days after the exposure.
The store has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines since the infection was discovered, the notice says.
A spokeswoman for Publix did not immediately return a call and an email on Monday evening, seeking further comment. The notice does not directly address how the employees would know if they had contact with the infected person, who was not identified in the notice.
Robert Jerome, who sells real estate in Coral Springs and Parkland, particularly at Brookside, said he might think twice about going to that Publix. Before the coronavirus struck, the store was a regular stop for him.
But he’s still not going to any stores yet. Instacart, a grocery delivery service, is still bringing him his eats.
“I’m still cautious when I go places,” the 37-year-old said. “I’m still sanitizing and wearing my mask when I go out.”
He said he has yet to go to the gym, or dine-in at a restaurant. And he’s not exactly happy when he sees food preparers without masks.
“Now it’s something that exists, but it’s not as scary anymore,” Jerome said of COVID-19. “But … it’s still out there.”
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- Anne Geggis has been a newspaper reporter for 30 years, most recently at the Sun Sentinel. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., with a double major in journalism and sociology.
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