The presence of coronavirus in our community is significantly impacting regular routines and creating unique challenges for the hospitality industry. Our first priority is promoting public health, for staff and customers. Seattle King County Public Health has recommended the following:
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible. This includes:
- People 60 or older,
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes,
- People who have a weakened immune systems, and
- People who are pregnant
Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and help conserve health care resources.
Large groups of people If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together (defined as 50 people or more), consider postponing events and gatherings.
All people should not go out when they are sick.
Avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.
You can find more detailed information on their website here.
Public Health – Seattle & King County has announced new recommendations to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in addition to earlier guidance. Retail service may continue throughout King County; and it is recommended that the following public health guidance is observed in these settings.
Specific to restaurants and grocery stores:
Seattle King County Public Health has retail guidance specific to restaurants have been made in addition to the existing ones. Read them here
Food has not been identified as a likely source of COVID-19 at this time; however, food businesses can play an important role in both protecting their employees and their customers from COVID-19 by following the routine food establishment personal and environmental hygiene practices identified below:
• Strengthen health screening of staff and onsite contractors for COVID-19 symptoms.
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds upon first arriving to work, after using the restroom, before and after eating and frequently throughout the day. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Provide alcohol based (60%) hand sanitizers or similar cleaners for use for both employees and customers by placing them at convenient/accessible locations.
• Use sanitizing solution (i.e., one teaspoon of unscented household bleach in a gallon of cool water, there is no need to change the ratio of bleach to water to kill the coronavirus. If in doubt, please follow the instructions on the bottle) to frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects such as cash machine key pads, counter tops, dining tables door knobs, electronics, faucet handles, and menus frequently throughout the day. Change the chlorine-based sanitizing solution at least once every four hours.
• Ensure dishwasher and/or three-compartment sinks are used properly and have the appropriate level of sanitizer for final rinse (50-100 PPM chlorine-based sanitizer, follow product label for other approved sanitizers).
• Ensure sneeze guards are in place where required.
If you have food employees at higher risk for COVID-19 with underlying health conditions, such as people 60 or older, people with underlying health conditions (heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes) or those with weakened immune systems or those who are pregnant: consider temporarily re-assigning them to non-public-contact duties.
For more information, visit the retail guidance section of Seattle King County Public Health.
Prohibitions on large events and gatherings
Seattle and King County announced a new local health order intended to help restrict the spread of the coronavirus. Under this order:
- All events with more than 50 people are prohibited until further notice
- All events with fewer than 50 people are discouraged and prohibited unless organizers observe COVID-19 prevention measure.
- All bars, dance clubs, fitness and health clubs including hotel gyms and exercise rooms, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other social and recreational establishments until at least March 31.
- All restaurants and food service establishments cannot provide dining room service. They may remain open for drive-through, takeout and delivery.
- All other retail – including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies – should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.
King County Public Health expects the number of infected individuals to increase in the next few weeks. We should expect evolving recommendations from King County Public Health as the situation changes. This is not a situation limited to Seattle or King County. This is a worldwide situation. We have information and resources here.
We understand the uncertainty of this situation is putting stress on your employees and businesses. We stand by as a resource to assist through these challenging times. We will update you as more information or resources become available. If you have specific questions, as always, please reach out to us. Likewise, we appreciate you sharing the impacts that your businesses are seeing as we continue to share them with our elected officials. We will coordinate through Teddi McGuire.