New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

ND Smart Restart protocols announced for reopening of high contact businesses


April 27, 2020

Michelle Kommer, N.D. Department of Commerce Commissioner, outlined guidelines Tuesday for the safe reopening of the "high contact" businesses previously closed due to executive order. Governor Burgum said Monday he would allow the executive order to expire April 30, which would allow these businesses to open provided they can do so while practicing protocols outlined by the state. Burgum reiterated that tribes, cities, counties and other subdivisions had authority to impose further restrictions as they feel necessary, and said all businesses are able to make their own decisions to reopen or remain closed. The "New Rockford Transcript" will contact local businesses in the coming days and report on their decisions regarding reopening.

An executive order that clarifies which of the procedures are mandatory and which are simply guidelines will be released tomorrow. Standard operating procedures for recreation centers, athletic facilities, music venues and theaters are expected Thursday.

Here are the protocols for bars and restaurants:

Movement and Activity

Gathering Size/Physical Distancing/Workplace Activity

Capacity will be limited to 50% of normal operating capacity

Allow for six feet of spacing between groups: increase table spacing by removing tables, marking tables closed or provide a physical barrier between tables. Back to back booth seating is allowed.

Waiting areas (indoor or outdoor) must be marked so physical distancing standards are met. Restaurants can determine policy for wait areas.

Tables must be limited to 10 people per table.

In-house dining areas for quick service restaurants must meet all guidelines with tables to be sanitized between customers or if that is not possible offer only take-out.

Standing in bars is not allowed. Bar stool seating will be allowed for 1-2 guests, with 6 feet of separation between groups.

Salad bars and buffets may operate as long as pre-portioned servings are prepared by staff. Buffet and salad bar in-use serving utensils are to only be used by staff and washed, rinsed and sanitized every 4 hours.

Employee and Customer Safety and Trust

Hygiene and Cleaning/Special Measures

Drink refills are not allowed unless served in a clean unused glass or cup.

Menus should be single use paper or on a material that can be sanitized after each use.

Drink coasters should be single-use or of a material that can be sanitized after each use.

Tabletop electronics for ordering or contactless payments must be sanitized after each use.

No self-service cups, straws or lids will be allowed – they should be behind counter and handed to customer. Only individually wrapped straws are allowed.

Self-service condiments should be eliminated and provided by request in single use or disposable containers.

Blackjack tables will remain closed. Gaming machines must be separated by a minimum distance of 6 feet or placed out of service.

Hand-held entertainment or reservation notification devices are not allowed.

Dance floors are closed

Encourage customers to download the Care19 App to increase success levels with contact tracing.

During phase I, all restaurants should close for a minimum of 4 hours daily to deep clean.

The protocols for Hair/Nail/Tanning Salons, Barbershops, Waxing Studios and other Cosmetology Related Businesses are as follows:

Physical Distancing

Develop a check-in process and waiting area setup that can accommodate physical distancing.

If necessary, increase space between work stations so that employees and clients can maintain 6 feet of distance.

Workplace Activity

Remove items in common areas that cannot be sanitized.

Employees must wear face masks at all times and other available protective equipment as necessary.

Clients are to wear face masks to the extent possible.

Businesses are encouraged to limit the provision of services that require removal of PPE.

Hygiene and Cleaning

Employees must wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds between customers and offer alcohol-based hand sanitizer to customers.

Businesses should develop enhanced cleaning protocol for workstations, equipment, restrooms, treatment rooms and waiting areas. Porous surfaces should be covered with washable or disposable coverings.

Adjust appointment times for enhanced cleaning between customers.

To the extent possible, businesses are encouraged to find ways for employees and clients to decontaminate clothing prior to provision of services, including, but not limited to, changing into a clean cloth smock or disposable robe, etc.

Special Measures

Businesses should screen employees prior to provision of services.

Clients and employees should avoid bringing unnecessary personal items into the place of business.

Employers should keep thorough daily records of employees and any close contacts.

Businesses are encouraged to use appointment systems unless a walk-in system can be used safely.

Encourage customers to download the Care19 App to increase success levels with contact tracing.


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