Preparing for the Public Again: Supplies Needed for Reopening Oklahoma Business in Phase 3 During COVID-19

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Preparing for the Public Again: Supplies Needed for Reopening Oklahoma Business in Phase 3 During COVID-19

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Starting June 1st, Oklahoma Governor Stitt's Phase 3 of Oklahoma's reopening began. The Richey Insurance Agency of Blanchard, Oklahoma has still not opened partly due to the company's employees being in the vulnerable categories. One of the other reasons is the difficulty in obtaining much needed cleaning supplies and the creation of new office protocols to maintain CDC suggested safety measures. Being a small independent business in a rural area, we are not given strict corporate or state regulations to enact. Instead, we are reliant on state and CDC information as well as our own ingenuity of how to best observe these suggestions.

Some of the items that we've recently obtained include: plexiglass barriers for two desks, new easily cleanable office chairs, automated hand sanitizer stations, 70% isopropyl alcohol for spray bottles, bulk bottle of hand sanitizer, brightly colored tape for marking distancing locations on the floor, emergency masks, emergency gloves, and document exchange trays. All of these items are newly purchased and weren't necessary before COVID-19. The barriers will help maintain sanitary work spaces and create social distancing gaps. The chairs are especially important because they are replacing the previous cloth chairs. These new chairs' entire surface is either vinyl or metal, making it easier to clean after every customer. The social distancing rules will be a maximum of four customers in the office. This is approximately one third of its usual heavy customer points normally.

All of these changes are based on a downward progression of COVID-19 cases to prevent our employees from unnecessary risk. Right now, three of the employees work from home and will continue until the office is officially open. Currently the new COVID-19 cases are on an upward trend in Oklahoma, with 225 new cases on Saturday June 12th, the single largest day since the beginning of the outbreak. With numbers like these, Phase 3 seems to be more of risk than we had planned. Much of the ramp up to open will be stalled until Oklahoma numbers show a significant decline.

Personal story submitted for the #ruralvoices collection. Contributed by Clinton P. Roberts, curatorial intern for Arizona State University, HST 580.
#ruralvoices, #rural, #reopening, #Oklahoma, #office, #business, #socialdistancing, #disinfect, #cleaning

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This item was submitted on June 14, 2020 by Clinton P. Roberts using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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