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Vigo County Health Department putting guidelines in place for businesses as they re-open

Local Health Leaders are saying "slow down" when going out to businesses that are re-opening. They're placing guidelines as we enter each stage.

Posted: May 4, 2020 3:30 PM
Updated: May 5, 2020 11:15 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- Local health officials are saying slow down. This comes as many businesses are starting to open back up.

Roni Elder with the Vigo County Health Department said now is not the time to rush out the door.


VIGO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SUGGESTED RESTAURANT GUIDELINES Tentative Opening May 11, 2020

\Develop protocol to screen employees and customers upon entry

  • Require symptomatic employees to stay home and recommend they be tested
  • Place hand sanitizer in lobby, at cashier stations, and in restrooms
  • Provide non-surgical masks and require use by all employees
  • Require employees to wash hands frequently

Post signage stating:
o Customers should not enter with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19
o Occupancy limited to 50%
o Individuals 65 and over and those individuals with high-risk health conditions or
any other vulnerabilities should not enter

  • Bar areas to remain closed
  • Live Music not permitted
  • Limit the number of customers in the restaurant to 50% of the seating capacity
  • Tables or available booths should be spaced at least 6 feet apart (including outside seating areas)
  • Limit the number of customers at any table to 6 or less
  • Consider using a reservation and/or call ahead only process to ensure capacity and
  • distancing requirements are not exceeded
  • No one is permitted to sit in the waiting area, they must wait in the car
  • Consider installing shields at host/hostess stand and cashier stand
  • Do not offer self-serve buffets, beverage stations, or condiments on a counter for access by multiple users
  • Remove all condiment containers from tables and replace with single use
  • Provide food handling refresher training to all employees

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING

  • Clean high-contact areas and objects such as door handles, phones, pens, and keypads every hour
  • Use electronic ordering or disposable menus, or sanitize menus after each use
  • Use disposable silverware or rolled silverware (and use gloves when rolling)
  • Sanitize all tabletops and chair arms after each table turns
  • Increase cleaning of restrooms
  • Enhance cleaning of facility after hours and use recommended disinfectants

That's because we're still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and there's still no cure for the virus.

Elder said Vigo County still has not seen its peak yet with the virus.

LINK | 'BACK ON TRACK INDIANA' GOVERNOR HOLCOMB ANNOUNCES STATE'S NEXT STEPS AFTER STAY AT HOME ORDER

So, Health Department leaders are adding guidelines for places that will be re-opening during each stage.

For Stage 2, Elder said all employees in the food industry will have to wear masks.

You should even wear a mask while you're in retail stores. Elder said it's vital that you understand people could still have the virus and not know.

"Real numbers aren't going to come through for 10-14 days so if we full force just let people get back to their normal lives we can have a huge outbreak of hotspots in a lot of places," said Elder.

Elder said she does believe the Governor's Back on Track Indiana plan will work in the long run. 

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