The COVID-19 virus has been present for a little over a year now. We have gone through months of strict lockdown. Now that vaccines are on their way and people are more informed about how to stay safe from the virus. People are beginning to adapt and get used to the new normal. Many states have decided to reopen plenty of their establishments. That includes food and drink establishments. If you’re looking to reopen yours, here are things you can do to make the experience safer for everyone:
Be informed and inform others
Before reopening, you have to make sure that you are well-informed about COVID. Do you understand its severity, how it can spread, how to avoid it, and the symptoms to watch out for? COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease. It mainly affects a person’s respiratory system and can spread through droplets. These droplets range in size. Some are invisible to the naked eye, while others are obvious. It can fall onto surfaces that people might touch, and if it finds its way into a person’s body, they can catch the virus.
If an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes next to another person. That person is most likely to get infected if they inhale the droplets. This is why people need to wear masks, sanitize often, and practice social distancing. The common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and sore throat. Headaches, body aches, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of taste and smell are also symptoms. Take note that there are cases of asymptomatic people. Meaning they show no visible symptoms of the virus but still carry it. And yes, asymptomatic people can still infect others.
This is a basic summary of COVID-19. Now that you’re informed about it, make sure to inform your staff and customers about it too. The only way people can avoid getting sick is if they know how to keep themselves safe. And the signs to look out for if they encounter someone infected or if they’re infected themselves.
Put in place strict safety protocols
You can’t run an establishment during the pandemic the way you normally would back then. You need to have much stricter safety protocols fit for the new normal. A responsible establishment owner will require their employees to wear the proper PPE (face mask, face shield, gloves). You should also do employee screenings before letting them back to work.
Ensure that your employees are honest with you. Inform them why it’s important, to be honest at a time like this. Make sure to hold your employees accountable for their actions, customers as well. Don’t let anyone without a mask on inside your establishment. And, of course, follow social distancing and proper sanitizing protocols. If you need more ideas on what protocols to implement, you can follow the guidelines set by the CDC.
Invest in all the necessary equipment to make it safer
In a food establishment, chances are it’s indoors and air-conditioned. The virus spreads easily in enclosed areas with air-conditioning. If you want everyone in your establishment to be safe, you need to invest in certain equipment. The main thing you need is good air quality. You need proper ventilation inside your establishment if you want good air quality. Aside from proper ventilation, you should also get an air purifier. UV air purifiers are important nowadays because UV can kill the virus if exposed for at least 30 seconds.
You’ll also need proper sanitizing equipment and stations. Provide every entrance, exit, and table with alcohol or hand sanitizer. Don’t forget to have glass dividers between tables. You should also set up contact tracing forms upon entry. Make contact tracing forms online through a QR code. Create one for your establishment so that your customers can fill it up before dining. And of course, don’t forget to have a no-touch thermometer placed at the entrance as well.
To stop the virus from spreading, we have to follow CDC guidelines and protocols. We should get used to living in the new normal. It may take a while before the virus is completely gone. Till then, no one is 100% safe from COVID-19.