Businesses today have a new struggle to face. 2020 has brought with it the challenge of not only keeping the doors open during a pandemic but also how to appropriately handle potential exposure to . Never before have owners had to state that a virus has hit employees or the facility. Now, however, a positive case can prove problematic for proprietors who must decide on the proper protocols to follow. During this unusual time, consider the following four actions.
1. Shut Down the Facility
Unfortunately, since it’s an airborne illness, you’ll want to have a thorough cleaning. Close the facility, and research for . Work with a team of experts to scrub down the building and the HVAC unit. Appropriate PPE should be used, as well as commercial-grade cleaners. The crew can sanitize, allowing employees and patrons to feel more comfortable with a reopening.
2. Contact the Health Officials
This isn’t the flu. In the past, someone was sick and life simply went on; however, COVID-19 tracking and tracing are needed. Report the issue to the local officials so they can begin contacting anyone potentially impacted. They may be able to connect the disease to other outbreaks or begin to determine a pattern of the spread.
3. Mandate Employee Testing
No one should return to the area until it is certain that they are healthy. Many people can be asymptomatic carriers; therefore, all staff should be tested. Anyone negative is cleared to work. Those with symptoms or positive results should stay away, quarantining for the next 14 days or until they test negative twice.
4. Inform Exposed Clients
While managers may not want any negative publicity right now, it’s best to remain open and honest. Report the closing and illness to your clientele. Take several routes to ensure complete transparency. Post a notice of closing on the door. Send an email to all shoppers, updating them on when the case occurred and a time frame for exposure. In addition, list out any protocols you plan to take to make the premises safe for reopening. This includes disclosing any and all cleanup procedures as well as staff member isolation. Establish your current safety measures and determine whether changes should occur to try and prevent another outbreak.
Proactive, candid approaches are vital during this challenging time to promote healthy relationships among customers and stores. People are going to get sick. Have a plan in place to get back up running in an efficient and careful manner.