The day after Publix announced that face masks will be required in its stores beginning July 21, Florida’s other giant grocer, Winn-Dixie, said it will “strongly encourage” face coverings, according to a statement from the Southeastern Grocers, Winn-Dixie’s parent company.
“Currently, we are adhering to all local safety mandates within each of our stores and strongly encouraging those who are medically able to wear a face covering to do so,” said Joe Caldwell, the corporate communications director at Southeastern Grocers.
According to WFLA, Caldwell said that Winn-Dixie stores want to avoid causing “undue friction between our customers and associates by regulating mask mandates.”
The dissenting decision by Southern Grocers follows the implementation of mask requirement policies at major stores like Walmart, Sam's Club, Starbucks, Target, Costco, CVS and Dollar Tree.
In the Tampa Bay area, local mandates require those in Pinellas and Hillsborough County businesses to wear a face mask where social distancing is not possible.
On Friday, The Tampa Bay area recorded 2,045 new coronavirus infections, and nearly half of them are from Hillsborough County, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
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