When it comes to operating your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many more unknowns than there are knowns, and it can be difficult to feel confident in any course of action. This uncertainty includes how you operate your business, and extends to how you interact with potential customers, as well vendors, or other essential business partners you need to collaborate with for the success of your company. Proceeding responsibly and in a way that keeps you, your employees, and your customers safe is a priority – so here are some of the best protective measures for businesses during shelter in place.

Wear mask during all direct interactions

We all know about the importance of masks, but it’s important to emphasize as they’re one of the easiest ways to prevent transmission in person. We all know they are not as effective as medical grade masks, but for everyday interactions while maintaining social distancing, they are far better than nothing. By ensuring you, and everyone you allow into your business’s space, are wearing masks as encouraged by the CDC, you’ll know you’ve made a significant reduction in the risk of transmitting the virus.

Continue social distancing

It’s natural to, even difficult to abstain from, moving closer to people in direct conversations. Plus, in combination with the use of masks, it can feel like no big deal to stand closer while talking. That being said, remain strict with social distancing measures and ask that anyone who enters your space does the same for their well-being and your own.

Reduce the need to touch shared surfaces

Do everything you can to reduce the need for anyone to touch shared surfaces. Prop internal doors open when possible, to eliminate the need to touch the handle. Turn all lights on, to avoid having them touched throughout the day. Place items to be picked up and delivered in a separate area, and avoid direct hand-offs – sanitize the items as well, when possible.

Disinfect surfaces often

There are many shared surfaces that are unavoidable to have touched. Credit card reading machines, for example. Either you have the customer do it themselves, which means every customer touches the machine; or, you do it on their behalf, which means your employees are touching every credit card. If the first option, make sure your staff is wiping down the reader between uses. If the second, make sure they are wearing gloves that are changed often, and don’t touch their faces in between transactions. Apply this principle to any equipment you may have that is also touched by more than one operator.

Provide hand sanitizer

Anywhere a surface or item must be touched, make hand sanitizer available for your customers, staff, and business partners. If there are carts, baskets, or similar shared objects involved, make sanitizing wipes available, too. By keeping these resources well stocked and spread throughout your space, you’ll make it easier for everyone to do their part when it comes to preventing transmission inside your facility.

Any measure that can be taken individually will make a positive impact, but using all of these tips in combination with one another will significantly reduce the risk that you or someone in your store will become ill as the result of their visit. Fortunately, the more we work together to make a positive impact, the greater that impact will be, and you’ll feel more confident knowing that you and your team are making a big difference.

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