Although most of us have now tired of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 certainly hasn’t tired of us. With coronavirus cases on the rise across the country, many states are struggling to keep this health threat under control.
In some areas, businesses have been forced to close their doors (either permanently or temporarily), while others are operating remotely or via a hybrid model. If your facility has resumed operations and is open to the public in any capacity — whether through appointment or without limitations — you’ll need to take proper precautions in order to protect your employees and anyone who walks through your door entry systems.
One of the best ways to do that is by minimizing both person-to-person contact and common touchpoints. Of course, your lobby or reception area is likely the first spot to focus on. Let’s take a look at five safety tips that you should follow in order to reduce risk for your business during this time.
Offering virtual services can be one way to decrease the number of people in your lobby, but you may also need to formally introduce capacity limits to ensure safety. Not only should you add posted capacity signs to these waiting areas, but you should ensure those limits are enforced. That may mean limiting exactly who can enter your facility by introducing an appointment system or using a cloud security camera platform for people-counting. Many retail locations have embraced these guidelines, so there’s no reason your office building can’t do the same.
Install Touch Free Doors
Of course, you need doors to keep out both the elements and unwanted visitors. You can install touch free doors to make entry safer (by reducing common touchpoints) and more convenient (by reducing strain for visitors). Touchless doors have been around for years, but not every business uses automatic door systems. In the era of COVID-19, it’s a good idea to consider adding touch free doors so that you have one less surface to clean. What’s more, hands free door openers can help you meet compliance requirements without wasting energy.
Establish Check-In Kiosks
You’ve probably seen check-in stations at your doctor’s office, but virtually any business can have them. If you ordinarily have someone staffing your front desk, you may want to replace them with one of these kiosks for now. Your employee can still monitor the technology without having to come into direct contact with anyone. This can streamline the check-in process for appointments without putting your employees at risk.
Enforce Mask and Distancing Policies
Signage, floor markers, and verbal enforcement explaining your mask-wearing and social distancing policies are a must — and it all starts in your lobby. If you’re clear from the offset about what’s being expected of both visitors and employees, you’ll help everyone feel safer and confident about how you’re handling the current conditions. Although you may want to shy away from confrontation with a potential customer, remember that the enforcement of these policies is necessary to keep everyone in good health.
Perform Cleaning Tasks Frequently
In addition to providing hand sanitization stations for everyone throughout the lobby or waiting area, you should also be diligent about your office cleaning routine. A new study suggests that COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces (including plastic and stainless steel) for up to three days. Although most experts believe that this is not the primary way that the disease is spread, it’s still important to ensure compliance with thorough and frequent cleaning of common spaces. Establish protocol especially for the pandemic and make sure you have the staff necessary to keep these areas properly sanitized.
With help from new policies and new technologies (including touch free doors!), you’ll feel prepared enough to see your organization through this second wave. To learn more about how our touchless doors can keep your facility safer, please contact us today.