July 24, 2020 – An essential part of readying your RTO operation for a return to “business as usual” is implementing frequent cleaning and disinfecting routines for your store and its merchandise so that customers and staff can safely communicate, negotiate and complete transactions. Reducing the risk of COVID-19 requires new attention to frequent cleaning and disinfection routines to kill the virus, slow the spread of the epidemic, and keep brick and mortar retail sales robust.
Keep in mind surfaces must be cleaned first, before using a disinfectant on them. Frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is a must. Consult the manufacturers of products, such as upholstered furniture and electronics, for specific advice about safely performing regular cleaning and virus disinfecting activities on them.
Individuals performing cleaning and disinfecting activities should wear disposable, single-use gloves. Surfaces should be cleaned first with soap and water to reduce the number of germs, dirt and other extraneous materials.
Clean frequently touched surfaces often – after each touch is recommended. High-touch surfaces in RTO stores typically include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, point of sale keypads, handles, desks, and bathroom fixtures. Consider closing your store’s public restrooms during active phases of the pandemic in your community.
Use an EPA-registered household disinfectant after cleaning each surface. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for a period of time after application to kill the germs. Disinfectants are not effective if these instructions are not followed.
If EPA-registered disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used, including 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions.
Check out the National Retail Federation’s Reopening Checklist for more information on making your RTO store safe for your customers and staff during the COVID-19 epidemic at https://nrf.com/resources/operation-open-doors.