Covid-19 Guidance for Essential Businesses

March 25, 2020
Covid-19 Guidance for Essential Businesses
Randolph County Health Department

Because of the recent closures of businesses across the state and the recent “stay-at-home” order from the governor of Indiana, retail businesses considered essential may experience a significant increase in volume, especially in the grocery and supply sector.

Because of this, stores that experience high volume will have the potential to be the primary sites for Covid-19 transmission.  As such, all open businesses MUST step up the degree of diligence in safe practices to prevent transmission.

1. Hygiene (personal):
• Sick employees should stay home (fever, or cough, or upper respiratory symptoms)
• All employees will wash hands (a minimum of) hourly.
• All employees will sanitize hands after touching their nose, mouth, or face.
• All employees will practice rigorous cough and sneeze etiquette that includes covering with facial tissue, immediate disposal of tissue, and hand washing after cough/sneeze.
• Check-out servers/Cashiers should consider wearing gloves.  If this is not possible, use hand sanitizer after every transaction with the public

2. Hygiene (store):
• Keep hand sanitizer available for all entering AND exiting customers.  Best practice is directly observed use of hand sanitation upon customer entrance with signage and personnel encouraging use. (personal observation will help encourage a greater percentage of customer usage of hand sanitizer and assure reduced over-utilization by individuals and children playing with the wipes)
• Sanitation wipes stocked and available with signage encouraging wipe down of carts and baskets for carrying items. Check and re-stock every 30-60 minutes or sooner if required.
• Consider gloves for customer use with any fresh produce with receptacles in vicinity for glove disposal.

3. Assure safety of a vulnerable population:
• Consider special hours for elderly (60 and over for the purpose of Covid-19) and the chronically ill.
• Consider offering masks to elderly and the chronically ill.
• Ask employees who are 60 and over or with chronic illness to wear masks for their own protection.

4. Model Social Distancing:
• Lead by example.  Assure all employees are practicing rigorous social distancing (6 feet, no handshakes or hugs).  Customers will not comply if we are not demonstrating this in our business.

5. Social Distancing Demonstration:
• Consider placing a 12 x 12 foot square of tape on the floor at your business entrance so customers can get a sense of what distance between people is expected.  When you are at the center of the square you, should not be any closer than the edge of the tape to any other person.
• At checkout lines, consider taping 3 feet long lines of tape at 6 foot intervals to help customers gauge safe distances while in line.
• Monitor store customer volume to assure each customer has adequate space to practice social distancing.  Monitor overcrowding and enforce adequate spacing.