Stay safe when the stores open again : HEALTH-CARE

APHA intern Sakshi Handa is a public health student and, like many people in the United States, also works in retail. After closing because of the Covid-19 pandemicThe store she works in recently reopened. Sakshi shared the experience of working here again.

When the stores open and we adjust to our new normal, I want to share my new routine before and after work. As a public health intern and retail worker, I know the importance of protecting my family, employees, and customers in these unprecedented times. Here are the things I do before, during, and after work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Before work:

1. Every day before I go to work, the first thing I do is CDC Self Health Assessment for COVID-19. I check to see if I have symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or a sore throat. If I answer yes to any of these symptoms or have recently had contact with a COVID-19 positive person, I know I am unemployed. When I feel healthy, can answer no to all points on the CDC checklist and have not had contact with a COVID-positive person, I know that I can go to work well.

2. I drive to work. As soon as I get there, I put my mask on accordingly CDC guidelines.

During work:

1. Before I start my shift, the manager on duty does the same CDC health assessment for every single employee. If someone has symptoms or has had contact with a positive COVID-19 patient, they will be asked to go home.

2. I always have to wear gloves and my mask during my shift.

3. I disinfect my gloves with an alcohol-based disinfectant before helping each new customer.

4th I change my gloves for a new pair every couple of hours wash my hands before I put on a new couple.

5. During my entire shift at the cash register, I have to give the counter and card machine a full wipe every hour EPA approved detergents.

6th When I finish work, I take off my gloves and wash my hands with soap and water. I count up to 20 seconds silently as I do it.

After work:

1. As soon as I leave work, the first thing I do is remove my mask and make sure that only the ear loops or ties are handled. Use a hand sanitizer that I keep in my car.

2. When I get home, me wash my hands.

3. Before spending time with anyone in my family, I put my work clothes in the laundry and take a shower.

4th After I shower and dress cleanly, I wipe my phone with disinfectant wipes.

The first time I was called back to work I was a little scared, but the store, my managers, and all of my employees follow all CDC guidelines to keep the store clean and to only allow a few customers at a time. I also felt safe that all customers wear masks too, and some even wear gloves. Everyone does their part to protect themselves and their surroundings and to stop the spread of the coronavirus!

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