So here’s the thing. The two of us agree that we – “we” meaning the entire planet – don’t know enough about coronavirus to open everything up again. Because all it takes is one infected person to start a wave.
And yet people need to make art! Especially now.
So far, it has paid to live in a sparsely-populated area. Sierra County has been lucky so far with one case found in April (and not near enough residents tested). But the nearest county south is turning into a hot spot and a lot of us need to go there on occasion.
You figure a test is accurate (if it’s accurate at all) for as long as a person is not coming into contact with other humans, or things that other humans have breathed on, or things that other humans have touched. We never considered we were all eating one another’s droplets all day long. We have not been tested yet. We are wearing masks in public and taking all the advised precautions.
But we’ve had to pop in and out of Las Cruces for doctor’s appointments (as recently as yesterday) and we’ve gone out for water and we’ve shopped for groceries locally and we’ve tried to support a local restaurant here and there. It looks as if neither Walmart nor Bullocks are strictly enforcing a mask policy for shoppers, and not all restaurant employees were masked prior to the May 16 statewide masking order. So there is risk in going into all these places.
We seem to be healthy* so far but we all know by now asymptomatic spreaders and healthy people look the same.
*And then there’s that shoulder surgery back in March. Andrew is currently going to physical therapy (shouts out Hot Springs PT!) twice a week, and can use the arm well enough to sell art supplies and even install art into existing frames. But mat or glass cutting and frame building won’t be happening until late summer or early fall. A slow recovery is required so you don’t have to start over.
Given all that, we are starting with opening the shop by appointment and will generally be in and out as appointments are made.
If you need something, please use one of the following methods to let us know:
We aren’t able to check the shop phone remotely so if you leave a message on the 9200 number we will not get it immediately.
- If you want to shop via video conferencing, we can select your supplies while you look on, write up the sale, and send you to our online payment page. Your order can then be left at your residence or at another agreed-upon pickup location. We will not be responsible for orders once we have left them at the agreed-upon location at the agreed-upon time.
- Masks are required inside our store. We cannot supply them so it’s BYOM. If you don’t have a mask, you can’t come in.
- In-store shopping should be done without a lot of delay, as time exposed to droplets is a known factor.
- We can supply gloves and we have a small amount of hand sanitizer.
- In-store sales can be completed from a distance – place your items on a table, step away, we write them up, payment may be made using fresh gloves until we come up with a better system.
- Occupancy is limited to 4 customers at once, all masked, all maintaining a minimum 6′ distance from one another.
- When we are in the store we will disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least every two hours.
GOVERNOR’S GUIDELINES FOR RETAILS SHOPS:
Retail establishments providing essential goods and services have remained open in limited capacities during the public health emergency, requiring their courageous employees to be on the front lines. We’ve learned important lessons below from these businesses and employees on how to keep safe while servicing customers, which are embodied in the requirements and best practices below.
- Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers (p. 9).
- Adhere to maximum occupancy limits per the State’s Public Health Order.
- Utilize signs, stanchions and/or floor decals to support 6-foot social distancing, including one-way aisle traffic and separate entry/exit wherever possible.
- Utilize signage to communicate occupancy limits and encourage customers to wear face coverings. □ Maintain a schedule of stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing.
- Once every two hours (or more frequently), clean and disinfect high-touch items such as doors, fitting rooms and credit card terminals.
- Establish safety protocols to allow for contactless curbside pickup and home delivery wherever possible.
- Employ a greeter to communicate safety restrictions and protocols.
- Install large plexiglass sneeze guards at cash registers wherever possible.
- Arrange for contactless payment and receipt options to the greatest extent possible.
- Screen employees and customers with a no-contact thermometer; individuals with a temperature reading above 100.4°F should be denied entry.
- Offer face coverings and gloves to customers.
- Provide alternative shopping times to vulnerable individuals at higher risk of severe illness.
GOVERNOR’S GUIDELINES FOR ALL BUSINESS OWNERS:
- Limit operations to remote work to the greatest extent possible.
- Arrange workplace to provide for 6 feet of distance between individuals wherever possible.
- Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate wherever possible or modify them to minimize contact.
- Provide for all meetings to take place remotely whenever possible.
- Ensure all employees have face coverings or masks and wear them in the workplace at all times when in the presence of others, except when eating, drinking or exercising, or unless otherwise advised by a health care provider.
- Train all employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocol, hygiene, and respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs).
- Make handwashing, sanitizer, and other hygiene support available to employees.
- Note: the use of gloves is not a substitute for frequent handwashing.
Screen employees before they enter the workplace each day (verbally or with a written form or textbased or other app).
Send employees home who are experiencing the following COVID-19 symptoms related to COVID-19 and direct them to obtain free testing through the Department of Health.
□ Fever □ Sore throat □ Chills □ Cough □ Headache □ Repeated shaking with chills □ Shortness of breath □ Muscle pain □ Loss of taste or smell