AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp gave a list of businesses the option to open back up. Some businesses can open on Friday, some on Monday.
Now business owners left with the question– just because I can open, should I? NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne took the question Augusta University Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule. He shares the steps businesses owners should consider before they open the doors.
Dr. Philip Coule says all businesses owners who are considering opening back up should look for ways to impose social distancing, minimize contact and sanitize all items and surfaces that are touched frequently.
“Every business is going to be a little bit different depending on what their risk is and depending on what their contact with the public is. Are there reasonable measures that they can take that would reduce their risk? Or reduce the risk to their customers?” Dr. Coule says, “the basics of good hand hygiene, sanitizer use, good cough and sneeze ettiquette, cleaning of surfaces those are all critical to all business that want to consider re-opening.”
For gyms, Dr. Coule says owners should find ways to discourage congregation in crowded places like locker rooms.
“The equipment probably needs to be wiped down before and after each use,” says Dr. Coule.
For salons, Dr. Coule says both employees and customers should wear masks.
“[The should consider] strategies of– give us your cell phone number, you wait in your car, when we are ready for you, we will call you so that you can come in,” says Dr. Coule. “Limiting the number of patrons who are in the salon at any given time.”
For restaurants, Dr. Coule says minimize contact between customers and staff and between employees. Also, limit the number of objects touched by multiple people and
“For example, not grabbing the grabbing the glass off the table because that person’s been touching that glass and maybe coming up with creative strategies around disposable items that could be placed on the table,” Dr. Coule says.
Dr. Coule also says, for some businesses, just because you can open back up, does not mean you should.
NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne asked what Dr. Coule thought of Governor Kemp’s decision to re-open businesses in the way he has.
“As I’ve mentioned, we’re in uncharted territory,” says Dr Coule. “You’re looking at the risk of opening up versus the risk of staying closed, right? And it is a challenging decision to make.”
Businesses like salons and gyms can open on Friday and restaurants can open on Monday under health guidelines.
Photojournalist Gary Hipps
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