We know that you need accurate and up-to-date information about the effects of the coronavirus in the state and our region. The Forsyth County News is making this article available free to non-subscribers as a public service. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing to the Forsyth County News.
UPDATE (April 6, 3:50 p.m.): Publix informed employees about the associate's positive test on Friday, March 27, according to an email from the company to employees obtained by the Forsyth County News.
Associates who worked with the associate that tested positive were notified and self-quarantined at home "for the period recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," according to the email.
"We feel that transparency in this emerging public health situation is of utmost importance in order to ensure the health and safety of all Publix associates, your families and customers," the company said in the email.
Publix confirmed Monday that an associate at an Alpharetta store in Forsyth County recently tested positive for COVID-19.
The associate works at the Florida-based company's location at The Village at Flynn Crossing, at 5180 McGinnis Ferry Road, right on the border with Fulton County.
It's the second associate of a Publix in Forsyth County to test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Publix reported March 23 that an associate at its store at Cruse Marketplace, at 1735 Buford Highway in Cumming, tested positive.
Overall, 80 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported from Forsyth County after the Georgia Department of Public Health's daily status report at noon on Monday, April 6, with one death.
Georgia has 7,314 confirmed cases and 229 deaths.
"Like other essential service providers, we have seen our own associates and their families personally impacted by COVID-19," Publix said in a statement to the Forsyth County News. "Unfortunately, as public health officials have indicated, we expect to see an increase in cases as the virus spreads in our communities."
Publix said it is "keenly focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in all our stores" using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with local and state health departments.
Those measures include disinfecting high-touch surfaces; plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies; signage and announcements in stores about social distancing; markings at registers to encourage 6-foot spacing between customers; and adjusted store hours for "additional disinfection measures."
Publix associates "in select job classes" who might not normally wear gloves and masks in their roles are now being allowed to.
Associates that test positive are quarantined, with paid leave, for 14 days, according to the company. In addition, associates who come in close contact with an associate who tests positive are notified and quarantined, with paid leave.
"As an essential service provider, the health and well-being of our customers, associates and communities are our top priority," Publix said. "We are proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time. And, we thank our customers for continuing to trust us with providing them with the goods and services they need."