In an effort to provide the public in Northwest Florida concise and accurate information related to COVID-19 business resources, a consortium of Escambia and Santa Rosa County business, economic development, and tourism agencies have joined together to create the Reopen Escarosa resource document.
The document contains information related to Phase One of Governor Ron Desantis’ Reopening Florida Plan with an emphasis on safety guidance for businesses and COVID-19 information for the general public.
“With so much information being sent out about COVID-19, we wanted to provide a one-stop resource that answers many of the questions the public has about guidelines for businesses and how we are currently operating,” said Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce President Todd Thomson. “Our goal is a safe reopening of our local economy.”
The guide –REOPENING ESCAROSA – offers information that has already been published on the media and several government agencies, such as sites for COVID-19 testing and food giveaways, phone numbers and informative websites.
The information regarding reopening of restaurants and retail establishments is what the governor included in his executive order, but no additional guidelines. The Reopening Manufacturing & Supply Chains page contains links to OSHA and CDC websites. Reopening Entrepreneurship is simply descriptions of the services that were available before the state of emergency was declared in March – nothing specific about how to operate under the shadow of the pandemic.
However, hotels and construction pages had specific guidelines and protocols for reopening.
The hotel protocols were created by Visit Pensacola, Escambia County DMO, FRLA and Santa Rosa Tourism.
Suggested Protocols for Hotels:
• Promote frequent hand washing by employees and guests, e.g., reminder signs (multiple languages to broaden guest communication)
• Provide alcohol-based hand-free rubs/swipes containing at least 60% alcohol in public areas, e.g., vending / ice machines on hotel floors.
• Provide tissues and additional trash receptacles in public areas.
• Room service restrictions, e.g., delivery only to door.
• Eliminate / reduce in-person check-in or checkout with automated process.
• Use of chatbot or similar platforms for guest communication / customer service / tipping.
• Request guests to minimize direct contact with employees.
• Discourage employees from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
• Remove / reduce customer service phones in common areas.
• Increase length of time between vacancy and cleaning rooms.
• Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is the best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19.
• Perform additional environmental cleaning on all frequently touched areas, such as front desk, elevator banks, coffee stations, doorknobs, etc.
• Beachfront hotels should inform beachgoers must observe the CDC guidelines of groupings of 10 or fewer and proper social distancing.
• Opening the pool invites social congregation and social distancing violations and should remain closed. The decks can be open for food service, as long as there are tables and those tables are adhering to the 6 feet rule.
Homebuilders Assn. of West Florida and First Place Partners developed the guidelines for the construction industry.
While there are no restrictions on construction, these are general job site/office practices recommended by the industry:
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2external icon, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
• Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
• Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis.
• This includes other elements of the jobsite where possible.
• Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
• Clean shared spaces such as trailers and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
• Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
• Avoid sharing tools with co-workers if it can be avoided. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
• Arrange for any portable job site toilets to be cleaned by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside.
• Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.
• In addition to regular PPE for workers engaged in various tasks (fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection), employers will also provide:
• Gloves should always be worn while on-site. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves. Gloves should not be shared if possible.
• Eye protection should always be worn while on-site.
• Some employees may be required to wear face coverings, including in those situations where (1) it is mandated by state or local rule, or (2) employees must work in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees. A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers a person’s nose and mouth. The CDC lists five criteria for “cloth face coverings”: the face covering should: fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape. Use of a face covering is not a substitute for other workplace preventative techniques that are outlined in this Plan.
See REOPENING ESCAROSA.