Many Airdrie businesses are preparing to start up operations again after being closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it is anything but business as usual for most.
Whether it’s cleaning your house or your mouth, here’s how two local companies are working hard to get back up and running with new policies and procedures to keep their clients safe and healthy.
Pink Wand Cleaning Services Ltd
Jacqui Jepson, president of the Pink Wand Cleaning Services Ltd, says the residential cleaning department of her business was closed for eight weeks, while their essential services business (such as the Airdrie Food Bank) was shut down for two weeks.
“We spent the past eight weeks preparing to run our company under new training and safety. We are now ready to operate under a new operations plan,” she added.
“We are educated, prepared and ready to serve our community. We have dedicated team members that have assisted in helping our community during this pandemic by providing service to our essential service providers.”
One of the key changes is that the company now asks that the premises to be vacant during residential cleanings. If that can’t be arranged, they are asking that customers practice social distancing from team members and isolate in an area they are not in.
Pink Wand is offering all their current clients the added disinfectant clean to the regular service at no added fee. This includes the use of disinfectants on hard surface areas such as light switches and doorknobs.
“We maintain sanitized spaces for our community to remain healthy and safe,” said Jepson.
The company is also offering fellow local business owners assistance in receiving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and with getting businesses sanitized to get back to work safely.
In addition, company vehicle fleets are now equipped with shield guards to maintain team members’ social distance safety.
Jepson says the company hired a safety officer as well as specialists in HR and legal and studied the PPE and equipment they would require for their 40 staff members.
Main Street Dental
James Yue, owner of Main Street Dental, says although he has not yet received a notification from the Alberta government as to when they can provide routine services such as elective procedures and hygiene or the guidelines to govern how to do so, his team is busy preparing to re-open the clinic in the coming weeks.
“Even once we receive these guidelines, it will be at least a few weeks until we resume normal operations since it will take some time to implement these new regulations,” he added.
Like many dental offices, Main Street has been closed to routine procedures since March 17, but has been providing treatment for patients in emergency situations.
He said when they are given the go ahead to re-open, it will be done in several phases, starting with a smaller group of staff and eventually working up to re-incorporating all 16 team members.
“There is no timeframe for this since we don’t know what these guidelines will be and we don’t know how long it will take to implement them,” Yue said.
“Also, we want to ensure that we adhere to all the regulations and standards put in place by the provincial government.”
He added that Main Street Dental will be implementing a number of new procedures including:
- pre-screening patients over the phone and asking about symptoms and travel history,
- patients will be asked to wait in their cars if they arrive early for an appointment.
- staff will take patients’ temperatures to screen for fever,
- patients will be asked to use a mandatory mouth wash before any treatments or procedures
Main Street Dental has also installed sneeze guards in the reception area and hand sanitizing stations. The dental office has also acquired the recommended N95 masks, face shields and surgical gowns for staff.
“I completely support these new regulations, and we will not only meet them, but exceed them,” said Yue.
“The safety of our staff and patients has always been, and will continue to be, our first priority.”
He added that although these extra precautions may delay treatment times and add a level of some inconvenience to a routine dental visit, they are in place to protect everyone involved.
“Our goal is to resume providing a high level of dental care as soon as possible, but we want to ensure we do so in the absolute safest manner for both staff and patients,” he said.
“As such, we may take a little longer to get up and running, but in doing so people can feel safe coming to our office for dental treatment.”