As several citizens of the U.S. and many across begin panicking over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, grocery store chain Publix announced that they will close earlier beginning March 14 to make things safer for both employees and buyers.
Due to coronavirus and several states announcing an emergency, people are scrambling outside stores to buy toilet paper and stocking up on perishable food just in case they may need to self-quarantine. Publix, which has 1,200 stores throughout America, said it will begin closing its doors at 8 p.m.
The statement on Publix's Facebook page says that the earlier closing time allows employees to restock shelves and sanitize stores: "To better serve our customers, give our store teams time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on our shelves, beginning Saturday, March 14 we will adjust store and pharmacy hours companywide to close at 8 p.m. until further notice."
The new timings will mostly affect people in Florida, where the national chain has 809 stores, Georgia has 180 stores, and Alabama has 77 stores.
On Friday, President Donald Trump officially declared the U.S. to be in a state of "national emergency." However, as the country enters a panic state, the National Restaurant Organization, there is currently no immediate issue of the U.S. running out of food. As stated on their website, "It is still unknown if or how the coronavirus will impact the foodservice supply chain. Many organizations and researchers are monitoring developments."