*Editor's note: This article was last updated on November 20, 2020 to reflect the latest guidelines from the CDC.
While many cities were hit hard with COVID-19 early on, rural and suburban areas are starting to see an increase in infections. So what can retailers do to prevent employees and shoppers from becoming infected? While you're probably already implementing the IGA Minimum Safety Standards provided by IGA CEO John Ross earlier this year, and following the six steps outlined below with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), review them again to ensure they're top-of-mind for you and your employees.
STEP 1: Hygiene
Ensure all employees practice good hygiene. This means: washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently and/or wearing gloves. If soap and water isn't available, they should use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Post these hand washing guidelines and virus prevention tips in employee break rooms, restrooms, and at sinks to remind employees of proper hand washing procedures.
STEP 2: Social Distancing and Masks
Remind employees to avoid close contact with others, both at work and at home. Whenever possible, keep at least six feet of distance with others at work and in public, and provide employees with a well-fitting face mask. Post the below social distancing sign for shoppers and employees, available for download here.
If you haven't already, install plexiglass shields at the cash registers to reduce transmission of the virus between shoppers and employees. For more information on ordering these shields or building them, see this article from our Red Oval partner Innomark.
STEP 3: Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Always cover coughs and sneezes with a mask, tissue, or the inside of the elbow. Immediately dispose of any tissues used and wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use 60 percent alcohol hand sanitizer.
STEP 4: Clean and Sanitize
Incorporate regular cleaning AND sanitizing procedures in store. Wipe down frequently-touched surfaces, like door handles at the store entrances and exits, cooler handles, bathroom door and sink handles, etc. Use EPA-approved disinfectants to further sanitize these surfaces. See the CDC recommendations for more cleaning and disinfecting tips.
STEP 5: Monitor Health
Ask employees to monitor their health and increase staffing capabilities for backup. Require employees with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms* to stay home. Implement temperature checks before employees are authorized to begin work to ensure no one has a fever. *COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sudden loss of taste or smell, sore throat.
STEP 6: Stay Connected
Connect with IGA's resources to ensure you're up to date on the latest COVID-19 news and prevention measures.
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