By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country, the Publix supermarket chain has told its employees to mask up.

Starting Monday, August 2, Publix is requiring all associates, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix location.

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“We encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

The company also said that customers and associates should remain physically distanced from others while inside any Publix store.

“Thank you for your cooperation and understanding to help us all achieve the important goal of limiting the spread of COVID-19,” Publix said in a statement.

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Last May, Publix dropped its in-store mask mandate for vaccinated employees and customers. This came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control updated its guidance and said fully vaccinated people could stop wearing masks both outdoor and indoors, except when in healthcare settings, on public transportation, or in other areas where governments require masks.

The latest guidance from the CDC now recommends people in areas of substantial or high transmission risk wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when in public, indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

Publix is still offering COVID-19 vaccinations at their store pharmacy locations, no appointment is needed.

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The supermarket chain has 1,273 store locations in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. They employ more than 225,000 people.

CBSMiami.com Team