Home furnishings suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and delivery services respond to COVID-19
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all learned useful and effective ways to manage the spread of infection. Wearing masks, gloves and other protective equipment, frequent hand washing, disinfecting shared objects and surfaces and social distancing became routine for all of us who were committed to responsibly addressing this issue.
In addition to protecting the health of our communities we believe these practices were essential to maintaining economic well-being. The induced slowdown of spring 2020 was effective in reducing the rate of infection, but it also demonstrated that all businesses are essential to those whose livelihoods depend on them.
We learned that the cost of a shutdown, in lost jobs, lost income, lost tax revenue and massive expenditures at all levels of government could be crippling. To avoid those consequences, businesses must commit to operating safely, and those that can operate safely must be allowed to remain open.
Home furnishings suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and delivery services followed guidance from the CDC, state and local governments and industry consultants in 2020 to develop a set of practices and protocols to ensure the safe production, sale and delivery of our products. These practices provide a pathway for the safe operation of our factories, stores and delivery services during any future pandemics. For those companies that must operate in the absence of state and local guidelines – or wish to exceed them – we offer examples of best practices our industry implemented to protect health and preserve jobs.
Limit access to specific entry doors
Regularly disinfect door handles and other frequently-touched surfaces
Provide hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves, as needed
Encourage social distancing
Encourage or require wearing of masks and gloves, as appropriate
Increase hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection practices
Require employees who display COVID-19 symptoms to seek immediate medical attention
Clean and disinfect frequently-touched and shared surfaces often
Wear masks, gloves, and shoe coverings at customer’s home
Maintain social distancing when interacting with customers
Clean delivery trucks and hand trucks after each stop