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Governor Lee announced restaurants and retail spaces can re-open next week

The City of Jackson and Madison County are projected to start the economic recovery plan on Monday, but everyone is not confident that the area is ready just yet.

“From a public health standpoint, you know we are a little we are a little hesitant into rolling into phase 1, I'll just be honest", says director of the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department, Kim Tedford.

Governor Lee announced that restaurants will be able to open Monday at 50 percent capacity and retail spaces can open Wednesday at 50 percent capacity in 89 of the 95 counties.

Officials with the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department say their main concern about the reopening are asymptomatic carriers.

“What is concerning to me is the 11 people we identified that had no signs and symptoms of the disease", says Tedford.

Madison County and the City of Jackson are following the state’s guidance to re-open restaurants on Monday and retail spaces on Wednesday.

But just like any decision during this pandemic, it was hard.

“We are all hesitant, we are all concerned, we are in every single day, every single morning we are in uncharted water, none of us have dealt with this", Jackson city mayor, Scott Conger.

Both mayors say all guidelines in their plans have been met to move to re-open phase 1.

But they are doing so with caution.

“We feel like we have got a manageable risk and it is certainly beneficial to our many businesses and all the employees that are laid off, to try to start cranking up on the economy", says Madison county mayor Jimmy Harris.

For more information on the guidelines for restaurants and retail spaces as they reopen visit our website. In Jackson, for 39 News, I’m Imani Williams.


Protecting Employees

• Wear face coverings and gloves

• Report any symptoms of illness to supervisor

• Follow daily sanitation protocols

Protecting Customers

• Limit occupancy to 50% of seating capacity

• Space tables 6 feet apart

• Limit seating to 6 per table

• Use social distancing standards in waiting areas

• Keep bar areas closed

• No live music

• Screen customers with basic questions about COVID-19 symptoms

Business Operations

• Sanitize all front-of-house contact surfaces every two hours

• Use disposable menus or sanitize menus between each use

• Use rolled silverware/napkins stored in sealed bins

• Sanitize chairs and all tabletop items after each table turn

• Do not offer self-serve buffets, shared condiments, or beverage station re-use

• Provide ServSafe COVID-19 training for all food handlers


Protecting Employees

• Wear dedicated cloth face coverings, gloves, and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC

• Report any symptoms of illness to supervisor

• Provide training on personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines

• Sanitize hands with soap and/or hand sanitizer

• Stagger shifts, breaks, and meals to maintain social distancing

Protecting Customers

• Limit customer occupancy to 50% of store capacity

• Customers should wear face coverings inside stores

• Consider shopping hours for the elderly, medically vulnerable, and health care workers

• Establish one-way aisles and traffic patterns for social distancing

• Increase curbside, pickup, and delivery service options

• Prompt customers regarding the importance of social distancing

Business Operations

• Establish enhanced cleaning protocols that follow CDC guidelines

• Designate separate entrances and exits

• Use plastic shields or barriers at checkout between the customer and clerk

• Adjust store hours to allow time for enhanced cleaning

• Prohibit the use of reusable bags

• Suspend “self-service” food stations and dining areas

• Suspend the sampling of food and personal hygiene products

• Management-level employees should monitor compliance

• Add social distancing “reminder” signage and announcements

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