Whiteside County Health Department Guidance for food establishments

Whiteside County Health Department Guidance for food establishments in the wake of Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Governor Pritzker has ordered the closure of in-person dining at restaurants and bars in Illinois, effective on Monday, March 16 at 9pm until Monday, March 30. Drive-thru, curbside pickup, and delivery options will be allowed, but dining in is not permitted during this temporary shutdown.

Patrons must not be allowed in the facility until the restrictions have been lifted.
For establishments that choose to remain open for limited service, please follow these guidelines to ensure the health and safety of your employees and patrons.

Operations for Keeping Patrons & Employees Safe
● Provide the use of drive-thru, curbside pickup, or delivery. People can wait in their cars and
alert restaurant staff by phone.
● Accommodate for the rescheduling for all banquets, events and reservations.
● All self-service displays are prohibited unless an employee serves the patron. This includes gas
station self-service stations, grocery store hot deli counters, bakeries, and buffet bars, or any
other self-service display.
● Reusable containers provided by patrons are prohibited at this time.
● Use only individually packed condiments.
● Handle disposable utensils with gloved hand or napkin to prevent the spread of germs.
● Designate one employee for each position to limit contact. For example, one cashier, one person
to fulfill orders, and one person to hand out orders through approved options.
● Employees should wear gloves when providing food to patrons and handling money or
credit/debit cards. Employees should wash hands frequently.
● Social distance employees when possible. Have employees remain six feet apart from each
other whenever possible. (CDC defines close contact as being within approximately six feet of a
COVID-19 case for ten or more minutes.)
● Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces with a cleaning agent that is effect against coronaviruses
throughout the day and at close of business. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently.
● Restaurants have the right and obligation to turn away customers who are exhibiting symptoms
of cough, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Employee Health

● Instruct all employees to stay home if they are sick.
● Screen employees for fever, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhea. Send employees
with any of these symptoms home.
● Review your employee health policy and signed health agreements with all staff.
● Create flexible sick leave policies so employees stay home from work when they are sick.
● Use the same procedures normally for vomiting and diarrhea clean up.

● If you have employees who are at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19, find
positions that minimize contact with the public.
● Check vomit and diarrhea clean up kit to ensure all supplies are in the kit.
● Review the importance of handwashing and the handwashing procedure.
● Remind employees to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after going to the restroom and
after handling soiled equipment.
● Provide soap and hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
● Promote behaviors that prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, and no
physical contact between employees and patrons.
Patrons or Employees Later Diagnosed with COVID-19
● If a patron or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 after visiting your facility, your
Whiteside County Health Department may ask you for contact information for anyone who may
have had close contact with the patient.
o If this occurs, attendees and other employees who had close contact with COVID-19
patient will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.

● For more information about COVID-19 preparedness for businesses, please see the CDC’s
Resources for Businesses and Employers. For general information about COVID-19, refer to
the IDPH or CDC Website and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Please contact our office if you plan to remain open or if you have any questions at (815) 772-7411 extension 104.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey M. Deets
Director of Environmental Health
Whiteside County Health Department

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