H-E-B to provide masks, gloves to employees starting Saturday

An H-E-B customer wears a mask while shopping at a San Antonio area store on April 3, 2020. (Sal Salazar, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – H-E-B will provide its employees with masks and gloves starting Saturday and store officials are “strongly encouraging” employees to wear them while at work during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

A statement from the company said while they understand the use of masks does not fully prevent the transmission of COVID-19, they will start providing them to make sure their employees feel comfortable.

“As an essential service provider at this time, masks and gloves are just another safeguard we’ve implemented across our company to protect the health and safety of our Partners, customers and communities,” said Martin Otto, H-E-B chief operating officer. “We are here for all Texans and we take our role to protect public safety seriously.”

Employees who wear the provided masks and gloves must still follow the hygiene, sanitation and social distancing protocols that are in place at the stores, H-E-B officials said.

H-E-B officials said they would provide the masks as long as they could maintain supply.

The following statement from H-E-B outlines some of the other changes the stores have made in recent weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic:

“We created a dedicated leader in every store, the COVID Action Manager, who is trained to ensure sanitation and social distancing procedures are properly followed. We have also installed plexiglass partitions at all checkstands, metered entry into stores, adopted crowd control guidelines to manage customer traffic, and placed floor decals to help identify proper social distance. Additionally, we conduct deep cleaning and sanitizing of stores and hard surfaces as well as fuel stations throughout the day, and utilize contactless home delivery to limit direct interaction. We require our Partners to stay home if they feel ill.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

This story was originally published on KPRC 2 sister website, KSAT.

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.