DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With 90% of Ohio’s economy now open, local health departments are focused on enforcing the safety protocols put in place. Public Health of Dayton and Montgomery County is having to reshuffle personnel in order to make sure businesses throughout the area are complying with state safety regulations.
It’s an ongoing process, but the department is adjusting as needed. Dan Suffoletto, the public information supervisor, says, “We know that as businesses start to open up, and people start to move about, there will be an increase in the number of cases.”
Suffoletto says more coronavirus cases are inevitable, but we can control how we prepare for the spike. “We don’t want it to get to a point where businesses need to close down again. So we really need to make sure businesses and the public are taking these measures seriously so we don’t increase those numbers of cases.”
A combination of phone calls and site visits is getting the word out. Over the weekend inspectors checked on restaurants and bars they knew might have large crowds. There were no violations while public health was there. But resources are stretched thin because normally general business and retailers don’t require safety inspections.
Suffoletto says, “We don’t have a set of inspectors dedicated to that, so we are repurposing people from other departments right now in order to be able to handle the amount of outreach we need to do.”
Suffoletto says the regulations are in place to protect employees and customers, and public health wants to work with businesses to keep everyone safe. “We know that all businesses want to be open and have customers, and we want them to have customers.”
And while the state safety regulations are the minimum, public health expects to see innovation that goes beyond the basic safety measures.
Suffoletto says, “It’s getting to the point where now businesses are going to compete not only on their services and their product, but also on safety.”
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