Businesses take precautions for coronavirus prevention

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020

With coronavirus cases on the rise, local restaurants, fast food chains and places like Walmart are implementing precautions to prevent the spread.

Walmart has reportedly cut back hours in places that are typically always open. New hours until further notice is from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for cleaning and restocking purposes. Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Walmart in the United States, noted that the change is to better serve customers and that workers will still operate on their normal schedules. An emergency policy for employees is also in place.

Chick-fil-A has announced closure of their dining rooms and enhanced cleaning of facilities. Catering, drive thru and curbside pickup are still in place.

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While dining services are still in place at McDonald’s, cleaning is being enhanced and employees are not only washing hands every hour, but also have hand wipes near them as well.

“We’ve just been trying to keep up with our basic practices as far as I’m concerned,” said Casey Castle, a manager at McDonald’s. “It’s important to do these things to prevent bacteria from getting on certain things, to keep our work areas clean so that our customers don’t get sick, and so that we aren’t transferring anything that we might have to anybody else.”

In addition to large, international businesses, local businesses have also stepped up measures as precautions.

Southern Restaurant is increasing cleaning procedures for disinfection.

“We are taking extra precautions as far as cleaning and disinfecting  as much as we can inside the front of the house,” said Jessica Ellis, a manager. “We still encourage everyone to come out, but if there is a major scare we can always do call-in orders.”

Like Southern Restaurant, Sweetsie Treatz is also increasing cleaning procedures. The business posted to facebook stating that while these measures may make things a bit different, they remain open for the public to enjoy. Attached to the post was recommendations on proper sanitation to avoid spreading germs.

If you want to know more precautions businesses are taking that you plan to visit, call ahead or check out their social media pages and websites.

Social distancing remains encouraged at this time, with anyone having a fever or other symptoms being urged to stay home. Kristen Spencer, Assessment and Planning Coordinator for the Tennessee Department of Health, urges this and other basic practices.

“Wash your hands often with soap and water,” she said. “Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or use your elbow if tissue is not available. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you are sick and stay away from people who are sick. Vulnerable populations should stay home when possible and avoid large gatherings or locations where they are more likely to contract the virus. Vulnerable populations include older adults and those with underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illness.”