Program aims to teach businesses proper safety guidelines to help slow spread of COVID-19

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)- North Carolina’s Restaurant & Lodging Association is teaming up with the state’s tourism board to roll out training for businesses and guests on best practices during COVID19.

The hope is education on safety guidelines and protocol will help slow the spread of the virus, so the state can continue to reopen.

“As we’re seeing if you don’t do things the right way, it will spread. This is really a key of getting people comfortable, and getting them do things the right way so we can keep the economy as open as possible,” said Visit North Carolina director Wit Tuttell.

The program, “Count on Me NC,” consists of several training modules designed by safety experts at NC State, Tuttell said.  Each module provides guidance on how to keep staff and guests healthy, as well as food safety and cleaning practices. 

Tuttell says the training dives into specific safety suggestions, such as what types of chemicals to use to clean different surfaces and how long to leave cleaning supplies on surfaces.

Count on Me NC also offers a pledge for diners and guests to wear masks, social distance and wash their hand frequently.

“We want to make sure everyone isn’t just thinking they are doing the right thing, but they are actually doing the right thing,” he said.

Tuttell is hopeful the state can continue to move forward with reopening, but admits there is some uncertainty.

With North Carolina’s Phase Two set to expire Friday, it’s still unclear if if the state will move into Phase Three this week. Governor Roy Cooper paused the state’s reopening plan last month, saying the state wasn’t hitting key bench marks to slow the spread of COVID19.

“We have to do things the right way,” said Tuttell.  “That’s the only way to move forward and it’s really, really important because if we don’t move forward we may have to move back, and I don’t think anyone wants to do that.”

At the most recent DHHS briefing, Dr. Mandy Cohen said the state’s four metrics for tracking the coronavirus are not all moving in the right direction.

“We have reason to be concerned and need to remain vigilant in slowing the spread of the virus,” she said.

Data released by DHHS shows five of the days with the most new cases of COVID19 since the state began tracking the numbers all occurred within the last week.

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