As more and more lives are being impacted by COVID-19 in Indiana, Dr. Lopez, Orange County Health Officer, stated, “The next two to three weeks will be some of the most crucial to contain the virus in our community.”Orange County Health Department, with the support of Orange County Commissioners, is strongly recommending for essential retail stores and grocery stores to make the following necessary guidelines to prevent crowding in the store and allow for social distancing:
- Limit the number of customers and staff allowed in the store at a time. Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce those limits.
- Clearly mark 6’ spacing lines and other high-traffic areas and consider ways to encourage spacing if there are lines outside. Consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks.
- Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.
- Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout.
- Designate employee(s) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed.
- Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling.
- Establish exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, but make sure and follow the customers limited rule during those hours as well.
- For larger grocery stores and retailers, encourage customer pickup and/or delivery options.
- Allow only one member of family to enter the store at a time and consider not allowing children (under 16) or pets in the facility.
- Cloth face coverings need to be worn by all persons including employees.
“We thank those stores that are already implementing all of these measures to keep our community members safe,” Lopez said.