MARSHALL COUNTY — The Marshall County Health Department (MCHD) recently issued a press release regarding requirements for restaurants. Here is the release:

MCHD supports restaurant operators in their efforts to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers need to respond in a responsible and flexible way in updated practices and operations. Please remember these are temporary measures and ensuring best practices by following the guidelines below will allow restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible.

• Restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity on May 11 with table seatings limited to six people; 75 percent capacity on June 14; 100 percent capacity on July 4.

• All employers must wear face masks at all times; Such masks must be cleaned or replaced daily.

• Employers must screen and evaluate staff who exhibit signs of illness, such as a fever over 100.4 degrees, a cough or shortness of breath and record results; Employers are encouraged to have staff sign in agreement of the record.

• Employees who are sick must remain home or go home and seek medical care; Staff with known or suspected COVID-19 must follow CDC guidelines to self-isolate for seven days after symptoms begin and end isolation only after symptoms improve and they are fever and/or symptom free for three consecutive days without medication.

• Train employees to survey patrons for signs of illness; Such patrons may be asked to leave.

• Post MCHD signage on entrances preventing entry for patrons showing signs of fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

• Train all employees on the expectation of frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use; Instruct to avoid touching face.

• Train all employees to enforce social distancing of six feet or more between patrons not seated at the same table, food suppliers, delivery drivers, and between workers and patrons whenever possible. 

• Limit contact between staff and patrons; Use technology where possible to reduce personal interaction like mobile or online ordering, mobile or online access to menus, text on arrival for seating, and contactless payment options.

• Salad bars, buffets, bar seating, and self-serve areas is not allowed until restrictions can be lifted.

• Where possible stagger workstations to a distance of six feet or more.

• Prohibit hand shaking, hugging, or other unnecessary person-to-person contact.

• Discourage the use of other people’s phones or work equipment.

• Provide hand sanitizer for both employees and patrons.

• Increase frequency of cleaning and disinfecting particularly in high touch areas; Sanitize tables between diners.

• Increase frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in bathroom areas while ensuring adequate supply of soap and paper towels at all times; Discontinue use of hand dryers.

• Update floor plans for dining areas to ensure at least six feet of space from seating to seating and/or put up Plexiglas or some kind of wipeable non-porous partition between booths that reach to standing height.

• Consider a reservations-only business model; Patrons are not allowed to wait inside the restaurant for a table.

• Restaurants are encouraged to use disposable menus; Otherwise menus must be sanitized between use.

• Restaurants are encouraged to move to a reservation-only business model or call ahead for seating.

• Stagger shifts for all possible staff; Keep the same staff on the same shifts to avoid cross contamination.

• Where practicable, physical barriers such as Plexiglass should be used at registers.

• Pool tables, dart boards, and arcade game use is prohibited; All restaurant or dining room playgrounds must be closed.

• Provide employees with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act informational sheet.

• Infractions must be remediated within 24 hours unless immediate closure is deemed necessary by MCHD.

• Post this document (original press release) at the entry of the restaurant.

MCHD will continue to keep the community’s health at the forefront.

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