We’re excited to be on board with Governor Abbot’s plan to reopen Texas businesses and help get our economy going. Central Texas has an amazing workforce that is looking forward to bringing business back and restoring our economy, and there are lots of Texans ready to support your business however they can.
To reopen successfully, businesses need to have a plan in place for reducing coronavirus risks to customers and employees, and communicate that plan to customers so they feel safe enough to return to the business.
Alpha Decon’s technicians can work with you to ensure your business or organization has a reopening plan that keeps your employees safe and provides peace of mind to your customers.
Read on for our top reopening tips that will bring customers back to your door (in safe numbers!).
Start With a Reopening Plan
When reopening your business, you will need to consider a number of factors in order to keep your customers safe. Creating a reopening plan with guidelines and new operational procedures will help keep customers informed, and allow employees to serve customers safely.
What to Put in Your Reopening Plan
Here are some of the things you should consider including in your reopening plan:
- How you will maintain social distancing between customers and employees.
- If you will require masks or face coverings for customers, and if so, whether you will provide a mask or face covering for customers who do not have them.
- Whether you will have hand sanitizer or hand wipes available for customers during transactions.
- How you will source hand sanitizer, wipes, or masks while demand is high and supply is low.
- If you will use physical barriers between employees and customers, such as plexiglass windows at cash registers or bars.
- What you will do to ensure that you are following capacity guidelines.
- Evaluating the risk factors that are specific to your business: what are the high touch surfaces in your place of business, and can you regularly disinfect them? Is it possible to make hallways one-way to avoid face-to-face contact in small spaces? Should you close spaces that tend to get more crowded than others, like bars?
- How you will incorporate regular sanitization with effective cleaning chemicals into your operational procedures.
Consider Removing Soft, Porous Surfaces from Your Space
It is not known exactly how transmissible COVID-19 is on soft, porous surfaces, such as upholstered seating and tablecloths, but it is known that it can live on these surfaces for up to 24 hours.
Soft surfaces can present a risk for customers and employees, as the EPA generally recognizes that soft surfaces are more difficult to disinfect than hard, non-porous surfaces, like door handles and countertops.
If you choose to keep soft surfaces in your place of business, the best solution for cleaning them is to have them laundered whenever possible. This does not mean that soft surfaces can’t be cleaned with a disinfectant, but a disinfectant is typically not as effective as laundering, and it will often bleach the color out of fabrics and upholstery.
Using a laundering service can cause some roadblocks for businesses, as laundering tends to be more expensive than cleaning with a store-bought disinfectant, and some surfaces, such as upholstered chairs and booths, cannot be laundered as easily. In this case, the best way to protect customers from Coronavirus is to remove soft surfaces from your businesses, anywhere that you can. This includes upholstered chairs, booths, and any other high touch soft surfaces.
Example of how to keep a soft surface in your business:
There are some soft surfaces that may be used, such as a tablecloth, but they should be done so carefully. To ensure that you are using tablecloths safely:
- Keep your freshly laundered tablecloths together in one area.
- Do not put a tablecloth down on a table until you are sure a guest is going to use that table.
- Once you are sure that a guest will be using that table, bring a freshly laundered tablecloth and cover the table.
- Make sure you take the tablecloth away immediately after the guest has left, and place the used tablecloth with other used tablecloths that are going to be laundered.
- If a guest sits down at a table then moves, you’ll need to change the tablecloth immediately before seating another guest.
Make Modifications That Are Unique to Your Business
While all businesses will have to make some modifications to their day-to-day procedures (requiring masks, smaller capacity, etc.), some are coming up with very creative ways to keep customers safe while doing their best to get back to more normal operations.
Consider what is unique about your business or space and come up with a plan that addresses those unique needs.
Set Up Regular Sanitizing Appointments
Many viruses, including COVID-19 / coronavirus are known to transfer via contact (as well as via droplets, i.e., from a cough or sneeze). Contact transmission occurs when a person touches a surface that has not be disinfected.
Contact transmission is particularly dangerous, as COVID-19 has been shown to stay on hard, non-porous surfaces for up to 72 hours. That means that it is possible for a sick customer to infect people who visit your establishment for up to 3 days after they have coughed on a surface.
Shopping baskets, tables, chairs, door handles, service counters, elevator buttons, and hand railings are all potential vectors of transmission, and should be sanitized with a continuous-acting product. This will help reduce the chance of these surfaces spreading COVID-19 and other pathogens.
The CDC Recommends Daily Disinfecting
The CDC recommends daily disinfecting of surfaces if…
- The area is indoors.
- The area has been occupied in the last 7 days.
- The surface or object is frequently touched.
- Surfaces or objects are made of hard, non-porous materials like glass, metal, or plastic
For most organizations, that means you need to have a daily disinfecting plan in place.
Alpha Decon Sanitizing Services Can Help Protect Customers from Coronavirus
Whether you need a continuous-acting clean with no rinsing or wiping required, or a food-safe professional-grade sanitization, Alpha Decon has what you need to protect customers from Coronavirus. We offer one-time services, as well as discounted weekly or daily plans, and our technicians can help you identify any potential problem spots for hidden germs.
Communicate Your Cornavirus Disinfecting Plan to Customers
We’ve all seen the emails from other businesses about what they’re doing to keep their customers safe from coronavirus. If you haven’t sent a message about your reopening plans to your customers yet, now is the time to do it! Let them know that their safety is your top priority so they can feel confident visiting your establishment again.
Ways to Communicate Safety to Your Customers
Here are some ideas for letting your customers know their health and well-being is your first priority:
- Send an email message to your email list outlining everything you’re doing.
- Post a sign at every entry way – Alpha Decon customers get a sticker certifying the space as sanitized.
- Post on social media (more than once for people who may have missed the first post).
- If the customer experience is dramatically different, consider doing a Facebook and/or Instagram live where you or one of your employees walks through all the changes.
- Post a notice on your website – Alpha Decon customers can use our “protected by” customer badges.
- If you have customer, member, or patient phone numbers, you may consider making phone calls to some of the people you expect to frequent your space most regularly.
We’re Here for You & Your Business
Reopening may feel like a challenge to navigate, but Alpha Decon is here for you. We believe in reopening central Texas and fighting COVID-19 to make that possible. We’re here to help you fight the transmission of coronavirus and to keep your customers and employees safe.
To learn more about our spray sanitizing and consulting services get in touch today.