Friday afternoon, NECSEMA spoke with DECD about concerns we had with three of the rules:
- Occupancy capped at 50% of store capacity. At entrance, staff will maintain a count of the number of customers entering and exiting stores.
- Wherever possible, employees will wear gloves and face masks at all times that they are interacting with customers and/or handling products.
- Install Plexiglas shields to separate employees from customers at checkout lines and other areas in the store where practicable.
We explained, unlike restaurants, convenience stores generally don’t have maximum occupancy postings inside the store, and are concerned about how local enforcement officials may interpret this order. DECD understood and suggested responsible self-policing of this order. To that end,
NECSEMA recommends 1 person per 150 sq. ft of gross square footage. This exceeds the generally-accepted 6 foot radius and should demonstrate responsible distancing to any enforcement agent. For example, a 2,500 sq. ft. building would allow 16 people including staff.
Attached is a posting
you may use or edit to your liking.
This is our recommendation... not a state order.
We expressed concern with the subjective nature of the phrases
as they relate to plexiglass shields, gloves and facemasks. Further, we didn’t think it was responsible to compete with health providers and emergency workers for much-needed gloves and masks. DECD understood this too, and suggests we do all we can to protect employees and customers. If you are able to procure a shield, that should be sufficient; likewise, if a shield doesn’t work in your space then attempt to use masks or other face-coverings. The bottom line is to act responsibly so you can plausibly demonstrate to an enforcement agent you are doing what you can given space constraints and product scarcity.
This is a fluid situation and everyone should use good common sense and act responsibly. Please let NECSEMA know if you run into a difficult local enforcement situation.