Public Health here to help businesses reopen

NEWS RELEASE                                                
For Immediate Release                                                       

Public Health here to help businesses reopen

 BATAVIA (OH) – Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) is helping local businesses to reopen with new operating guidelines to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

As part of Governor Mike DeWine’s Responsible Restart Ohio Plan, salons, spas, and barbershops can reopen May 15. Restaurants with outdoor dining can also reopen beginning May 15, if they follow the guidelines established by the Ohio Department of Health. Indoor dining rooms can open on May 21.

“The new COVID-19 guidelines are new for all of us and will be here for a while,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “We are here as a resource to help our businesses open, but we want to make sure they are operating as safely as possible within the new guidelines.”

Once the Restart Ohio plan was announced CCPH has been getting many phone calls and emails from local businesses asking what they need to do to reopen. Guidelines for each industry vary somewhat, but all businesses must require employees to wear face coverings, provide hand-washing stations or hand sanitizer in common areas, and allow for six feet of space between guests.

“Since openings were announced, we’ve talked to businesses from many different industries, looking for guidance,” said Maalinii Vijayan director of environmental health. The questions are the same for each one. “How can those businesses open safely and within the guidelines?”

CCPH, which licenses nearly 900 restaurants and food facilities in Clermont County, contacted all of those restaurants with the latest guidelines for both indoor and outdoor dining when the reopening announcement was made.

“We already have a relationship with our restaurants, and we’re helping them figure out how to keep customers properly spaced, and follow the other guidelines,” said Vijayan. Restaurants have standard hygiene and sanitation practices they follow, and each one should already have staff members trained in food safety, so some of the guidelines shouldn’t be new.

In addition to businesses, many local schools have been turning to CCPH for guidance on how to host their graduation ceremonies. While mass gatherings and in-person graduations are still prohibited, there are some creative ways schools can celebrate virtually.

“We’ve had meetings with school superintendents and are helping them follow the guidance on graduation ceremonies given by ODH, said Nesbit.” Most of the schools in Clermont County are doing some type of virtual celebration.

“The local businesses we’ve talked to want to offer a safe environment for their employees and customers, and we’re here to help them,” said Nesbit.