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Understanding Arizona Restaurant Health Codes and Dealing with COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of businesses worldwide have had to shutter their doors or drastically alter their services to implement safety measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 is highly contagious and has contributed to more than 1 million deaths worldwide. Many companies worldwide have closed to keep from spreading the disease, while others have begun to reopen with significant precautions.

The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest-hit industries. As dining establishments of all sizes begin to reopen, they must consider the safety of their employees and customers. In the United States, there are many restrictions set in place for restaurants to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

HealthyVerify helps design, implement, and maintain safety procedures that go beyond AZ restaurant health codes to help both your customers and employees feel safe as you navigate reopening.

Restrictions for Restaurants During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As restaurants across the nation begin to reopen, they are subject to various restrictions depending upon which state they are in. Dining establishments in Arizona are subject to strict guidelines because the state has been a national hotspot for COVID-19 CASES.

In July, Governor Doug Ducey agreed to reopen restaurants throughout the state. They must comply with the following restrictions and continue to adhere to guidelines set in place by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

  • Tables must be placed at least six feet apart unless they are separated by a glass or plexiglass barrier to maintain physical distancing.
  • Employees must be provided with and encouraged to use personal protective equipment such as cloth masks and gloves.
  • Customers must not be allowed to congregate inside in areas where they contain maintain six feet of space between parties.
  • Restaurants must operate at 50% of their full capacity.
  • Parties must be limited to fewer than ten people.
  • Sanitation practices must be increased.
  • Restaurants must post a sign prohibiting symptomatic people from entering the building.
  • Employees must be screened for symptoms at the beginning of every shift.

These restrictions are the bare minimum for restaurants in Arizona to resume operation. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in fees, penalties, and shutdowns.

Implementing these procedures is a good place to start. Still, the experts at HealthyVerify work with various health organizations to design and introduce more extensive safety protocols into your company culture.

Not only does this show that you care about the wellbeing of your customers and employees, but it also reduces the spread and impact COVID-19 has on your business.

Safety Precautions for Restaurants To Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

Not only do Arizona restaurants have to operate under strict guidelines, but they also need to implement safety precautions. When feasible, dining establishments should encourage outdoor dining, delivery, takeout, or curbside pickup. If a restaurant decides to open its dining room, it should minimize contact between customers by enforcing social distancing and practicing enhanced sanitation.

Employees should thoroughly clean and sanitize every item customers touch while dining to eradicate germs, and restaurants are also encouraged to use disposable items whenever possible to reduce contact between customers. By switching to paper or digital menus and plastic utensils, restaurants can reduce their employees’ workloads while reducing risk.

It is also important to ensure your employees are practicing and maintaining good hygiene. In addition to providing them with personal protective equipment, you should also instruct them on how to use it properly. Encourage employees to stay home any time they are sick, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Finally, teach employees to practice social distancing whenever possible and show them how to properly clean and disinfect.

Steps HealthyVerify Takes To Certify Restaurants

HealthyVerify goes beyond these basic steps to help you reopen your restaurant safely. We use a customized approach because we understand that every business has individual needs.

Because restaurants use direct contact between employees and customers to operate, they need their own set of precautionary policies to ensure they can open safely. You can expect us to perform the following steps.

Assess your company’s needs

We identify areas of strength in terms of COVID-19 precautions and determine which safety measures need to be enhanced to improve your company.

Research

Every county and state has a varying risk of residents contracting and spreading COVID-19, so we seek to understand the risk factors in your service area. We then use the significant collective experience of our partners at Barrow Neurological Institute and experts in their fields at Arizona State University to find new policies and procedures to improve restaurant safety.

Design a customized plan

We draw on our team to create new policies and procedures that you can be confident will work with your operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other health threats. These procedures are intended to build upon the restrictions set in place by the state, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and industry guidelines to improve the likelihood of reopening your restaurant successfully.

Implement new procedures

Once we have determined which strategies are most beneficial for your business, we help you implement them to make the process smoother. If we notice a new strategy not working as effectively as originally thought, we will reevaluate and reimplement the strategy until we are satisfied it works.

Maintain safety protocol

Depending upon their size, we can often get restaurants certified with HealthyVerify in as little as ten days. You will have to maintain the agreed-upon procedures to maintain certification, and the restaurant will be reevaluated every year and be subject to spot inspections without notice. However, we help you learn how to navigate these new policies and procedures, so they are easier to maintain and enhance your employees and your customers’ safety.

Located just outside of the major metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, HealthyVerify works with businesses of all types and sizes in Scottsdale, the Phoenix Metro Area, and nationwide to help them stay safe and healthy working environments.

We are located in Old Town Scottsdale near the intersection of North Scottsdale Road and Camelback Road, putting us in a central position that allows us to help various businesses and restaurants in the city.

By customizing every recommended protocol to meet an individual company’s needs, we create more comprehensive safety standards that go beyond the AZ restaurant health code. If you are interested in having your restaurant certified by HealthyVerify, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Tim Roberts Photography