SAN DIEGO — On Thursday, the CDC released reopening guidance for six different organizations. The "decision tool" documents were specific to schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants and what should be considered before reopening.
Based on the federal guidelines, going out to eat will look different. This is what to expect at restaurants and bars:
- must comply with state and local health orders.
- develop a plan to protect employees who are considered "high risk" such as employees with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, etc.
- adhere to strict hygiene and sanitation practices. This includes handwashing, intensified cleaning, and ventilation. Employees must wear a face covering "as feasible."
Social distancing will also be the new normal. Prepare for more drive-thru alternatives, curbside delivery, spaced out tables/stools, and smaller party sizes. Things like self-serving stations or "buffet style" will be a thing of the past. Owners must also "restrict employee shared spaces, rotation or staggering shifts if feasible."
All employees must undergo safety and health protocol training.
These businesses must sustain these new practices and continuously monitor the health of all employees. For example, anyone who is sick and/or shows symptoms should stay home. There should be a plan in place on how to deal with sick employees. Employees with be screened for symptoms and signs of exposure upon arrival each day.
According to the CDC, businesses should have regular, solid communication with local health and law enforcement agencies to make sure they are working together to keep up with sanitation and safety policies. This is especially important when it comes time to prepare for an increase in cases locally.
Restaurants/bars will need "flexible leave policies and absences."
Some San Diego restaurants are getting back to work right now in an effort to utilize local food workers and produce to help seniors. The county Health and Human Services Agency announced Thursday that qualified older adults in the region can now sign up to get three free and healthy meals a day delivered to their home for a limited time through the "Great Plates Delivered" program.
The initiative is a collaboration between the county and local restaurants. The goal of the program is to help older adults, who are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, avoid going out to restaurants or grocery stores to get food. The meal delivery is scheduled to run through June 10, though it may be extended.