Keeping Everyone Safe While Gradually Reopening Businesses Closed Due to COVID-19

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Keeping Everyone Safe While Gradually Reopening Businesses Closed Due to COVID-19

It’s starting in some areas of the U.S.: Businesses that were closed due to COVID-19 are gradually reopening. That fact doesn’t mean that the virus no longer is a threat, however; it does mean that we’ve taken necessary steps to catch up with the rapidly spreading disease so that it won’t overload hospital’s capacity to treat patients afflicted with it.

We’re not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination, but in the interest of keeping life going on and kick-starting the economy, some areas of the U.S. have determined that regulations can be loosened for a wider range of service businesses. These include dine-in restaurants, salons, spas and other places where close physical contact is necessary. At this phase in the process, although the businesses are open, the manner in which they operate is significantly impacted. Such measures are meant to make close contact safer, i.e., less likely to transmit the virus from person to person. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  • wearing facial coverings
  • physical distancing (6’ distance for seating/waiting in line; limiting capacity of buildings
  • avoiding social physical touch (kissing, hugging, handshakes, holding hands)
  • frequent handwashing
  • frequent disinfection of high-touch areas and items
  • Isolate at home when sick

Basically, the same precautions we’ve been taking all along for essential trips out of quarantine will still be required (or at least considered best, safest practices) but at more establishments.

It’s important to realize that, until it’s established nationwide that cases of COVID-19 are declining, we should continue taking precautions so as not to carelessly transmit the virus and risk another uptick in cases. How can you ensure that you’re doing all you can and should to maximize public safety while we live with the existence of this health threat in our midst?

In addition to the measures mentioned above, it’s advisable to:

  • continue to limit our forays into the world. The more times we’re out and about, the higher the chance of coming into contact with or spreading the virus.
  • avoid enclosed indoor places with stagnant, re-circulated air, opting for areas with fresh, moving air, or near a window. Unless in a crowd, outdoors is preferable to indoors. In fact, guidelines for re-opening some establishments require a ventilation system in good working order.
  • avoid large assemblies of people. The fact is, even with distancing, the more people, the higher the risk of contracting or spreading the virus..
  • be extremely cautious if you are (or come into contact with those who are) in what the CDC considers a high risk category, e.g., aged 65 or older, reside in a nursing home or long-term care facility, have compromised immunity, chronic lung or kidney disease, a heart condition or are severely obese.

The fact remains that we’re still in the throes of a major health crisis. Remember that, even though businesses are beginning to reopen, this outbreak is still active. Until there’s a vaccine, it will continue to be an inconvenient part of everyday life to take extra safety precautions for the benefit of ourselves and others. The only thing over which we can exercise even a modicum of control is how far and how quickly the virus will spread. We must continue to be vigilant about our actions, bearing in mind that what we do affects - for better or worse - everyone around us.

There’s no way to know when - or if - business will ever go back to their previous incarnations. If your business is one that can open now, make sure you follow all policies and guidelines to ensure you’re contributing to a safe, healthy reopening. If we reopen with care, we’ll have done our best to safeguard the general public from an unprecedented threat.

How will you ensure that your customers return safely to your business?

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