THE NEW NORMAL – MASKS, GLOVES, SHIELDS, AND MORE…
OPEN FOR BUSINESS?
The massive spread of the coronavirus and the effects on modern life will soon take a futuristic twist as people will look more like space travelers than common Earth folk. With masks, sneeze shields, gloves, and social distancing measures to be strictly enforced, human contact will be limited to those residing in the same household or those sharing the same bed.
Miami, as well as most of Florida, has been under lock-down for over a month as workers and businesses look to get back to work as soon as possible. According to the mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, plans for the gradual reopening of some businesses should be ready by next week. However, business operators in the food and leisure sector will be required to go beyond COVID-19 infection safety like hand sanitizer and face masks. Sneeze shields and strict measures to control social distancing at 6-feet will be part of the new normal at restaurants, hotels, museums, and other businesses serving customers and admitting guests. Though the measures may seem odd and awkward, especially to restaurateurs or museum goers, the aim is to lower the spread of COVID-19 and keep it low enough so that healthcare system facilities and staff can treat infected coronavirus patients effectively and without becoming strained.
THE REOPENING PHASE
Businesses and people around the globe are eager to get back to work as quickly as possible. Sadly, haste in taking to the streets, shops, parks, and pubs may lead to another potentially deadly outbreak of COVID-19. At present, over 36,000 Floridians have tested positive for the coronavirus with close to 1500 total deaths. These figures are expected to rise amid the dawn of a possible reopening of business activities throughout Miami-Dade. This said, officials are aware that customers and workers will be exposed to possible infection upon gathering in enclosed spaces such as kitchens or waiting areas. The reopening measures are currently a work in progress and as stated by those developing the procedures and guidelines to prevent the spread, thus no official dates for business re-openings have been decided.
Businesses that may spearhead the reopening phase:
- Beauty Parlors
- Golf Courses (opened)
- Marinas (opened)
- Parks (opened)
- Restaurants (Take-out and assigned seating)
- And several more
COVID-19, EMPLOYEES, AND CUSTOMERS
Under the guidelines for the reopening phase of business activity in the Miami-Dade area, mandatory use of face masks, sneeze shields, and social distancing would be strictly enforced by the business operator. Failure to comply or detection of COVID-19 in the business establishment would lead to its immediate shutdown.
With regards to restaurants, seating arrangements would be strictly calculated to make sure tables are set 6-feet apart and with only 4 diners at each table seated 3-feet apart. Furthermore, a restaurant may only allocated 50% of their seating capacity to serve diners. Furthermore, all restaurant staff such as cooks, waiters, waitresses, bus boys must wear masks and gloves at all times. Customers are required to enter restaurants wearing masks and may only remove them when seated and eating. Restaurants are required to use disposable menus or have their menus available on an app. Hand sanitation methods such as alcohol based gel dispensers and wipes should be made available to staff and customers and allocated at entrances, exits, on tables, in restrooms, and other strategic locations within the restaurant. Restrooms would be limited to one individual at a time with counter and register personnel serving customers being Plexiglas. Sadly, most restaurant kitchens or food prep spaces are sometimes not very spacious and the chances of kitchen staff coming into physical contact with each other is very difficult to avoid. Thus, restaurant operators are aware that the chance of staff becoming infected with the coronavirus exist no matter how strictly the preventive measures are enforced. Once again, the aim of the reopening measures is to keep the spread as low as possible so as to prevent a collapse of the healthcare system. Restaurants are also required to upgrade AC filters and install UV irradiation systems to ventilate cramped spaces such as narrow kitchens and corridors.
Hotels are also eager to open their doors to guests. However, all staff will be required to wear protective gear which the hotel mus provide them with and guests will be required to wear face masks within the hotel at all time. Though hotel gyms will not be available at first, pool areas may be opened to guests. Valet parking is not recommended but allowed and elevators and common spaces must respect social distancing protocols. Hourly disinfection of elevator buttons, handrails apply, as well as disposable menus. Hotels will ban pets and take measures to deal with stray cats or other animals in or around the hotel premises. Employees over 60 or showing coronavirus symptoms would be asked to stay home.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BUSINESS OPERATORS
In order for business operators to get back to work and start making some money, they will be required to follow strict guidelines, which are basically designed to prevent their staff and customers from becoming easily exposed the COVID-19 infection. Thus, they must take the necessary measures to make sure their staff have the proper gear and take measures to prevent the spread.
Preventive Measures by Business Operators May Include:
- Face masks
- Sneeze shields
- Hand sanitizers
- Distancing markers and signalling
- Periodic temperature checks
- Thermal detection devices
- An assigned staff member to oversee enforcement of safety and preventive measures
It’s important to highlight that workers asked to stay home or those that decide to stay home due to coronavirus-like symptoms must be paid while out sick. Thus, if you are an employee that feels sick, you are not obligated to go to work and must get paid nonetheless.
CORONAVIRUS INFECTION AND THE LAW
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm is working arduously to provide the best legal support for those individual or businesses that have fallen victim to personal injury, financial losses, or even wrongful death as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With offices in North Miami Beach and Miami, the personal injury staff at the Perazzo Law Firm handles insurance claims for compensation and insurance claims for business interruption cases.
Some of the main areas the Perazzo Law Firm Handles:
- Airline Negligence
- Business Interruption Insurance Claims
- Car Accidents while under Lockdown
- Cruise Ship Negligence
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Unemployment Claims
- Unlawful Spread of COVID-19
- And more Coronavirus related Lawsuits and Insurance Claims
If you, a friend, or relative has suffered personal injury, damages, or losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm recommends contacting our Miami or North Miami Beach office ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation and ZERO OUT-OF-POCKET FEES to clients.
THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM – DEDICATED TO PUTTING YOUR INTERESTS FIRST.