What to do if a Business is Not Following Recommended COVID-19 Safety Procedures

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The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine recently signed an order that requires individuals to wear a face covering when leaving their home. In this order, “face covering” are defined as “a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face.” While face coverings may not be the most enjoyable accessory to wear when leaving the home, we all have a duty to protect each another. Face coverings play a pivotal part in successfully slowing the spread of the virus and if individuals do not wear face coverings, state governments may need to re-implement stricter mitigation policies, such as the policies that were in place when counties were in the “red” and “yellow” phase.

Individuals who recognize the importance of wearing a face covering in public places might come across a situation where a business is not following public health mitigation strategies. If this happens, it is important to take the appropriate steps to help ensure that everyone understand the necessity of wearing a face coverings and following social distancing guidelines. It is not recommended to confront individuals not wearing a face covering because they might fall under one of the exemptions, and further this is an issue that local law enforcement should handle. Individuals can take three steps help make sure everyone is following the Department of Health’s regulations. Whether an individual wants to take all three steps, or two, or one is entirely up to their personal preference.

The first step could be to speak with the business owner. It is possible that the business owner is unaware of the new face covering order and what it requires. The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website has a lot of helpful information as well as a telephone number to contact for any questions about how to follow not only the face covering order, but also social distancing guidelines and sanitization guidelines. The second step could be to contact your local police department through their non-emergency telephone number. Following this, the local police

department should go to the business and inform the owner about the importance of following all public health policies and what the business needs to do in order to be in compliance with these policies. The third and final step could be to file a COVID-19 Complaint Form with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Individuals can remain anonymous on this form. The form asks questions such as your specific public health complaints with a list of potential responses, such as “Equipment not Sanitized” or “Business is Not Creating a Safe Environment for Customers.