and Store Policy Changes
Sargent’s is OPEN and we are doing our best to provide our customers the landscape, plant and garden supplies they are looking for while keeping both our customers and employees safe. Below is the preparedness plan we have in place for our garden center, landscape crew and office staff effective June 29, 2020 until December 31, 2020. This plan supersedes all previous versions we have had.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for SARGENT’S NURSERY INC.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our staff and customers. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, Sargent’s Nursery Inc. has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All staff are responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplace and community, and that requires full cooperation among our staff. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplace.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by David Lewis, who maintains the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, all staff are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this plan.
Our staff are our most important assets. Sargent’s Nursery Inc. is serious about safety and health and protecting its workers. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful plan.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidelines developed by the state of Minnesota, which is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders. It addresses:
- ensuring sick staff stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons
- social distancing
- staff hygiene
- workplace building and ventilation protocols
- workplace cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- communications and training practices
- customer protections and protocols
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. Symptoms can range from mild, or no symptoms, to severe illness. You can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet) with a person who has COVID-19. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You may also get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then by touching your mouth, nose or eyes. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Sargent’s Nursery Inc. Preparedness Plan is as follows:
Customer Protections and Protocols
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. has made the following changes to our daily routine to protect our staff and customers alike.
- Contactless curb side pickup is available to any customer that requests it.
- Additional outside check out stations have been added to reduce customer backlogs and wait times.
- Check out areas have been marked to reinforce social distancing.
- Plexi-glass partitions have been added to each check out station.
- All credit card transactions are contactless.
- On line bill pay available.
- Frequent cleaning of shopping carts and high touch areas.
- New retail layout with wider shopping aisles.
- One way trafficking is marked on floor.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. encourages all customers that visit our workplace to follow the MDH guidelines by:
- Staying home if you are sick.
- Self-evaluate how you are feeling before entering our workplace.
- If you are a “high risk” customer, consider shopping at non-peak times. Take advantage of curb side pickup if possible and online bill pay.
- Be respectful of those around you and be sure to social distance.
- Masks are not mandatory but highly recommended, especially if you are not able to maintain safe social distancing.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue. Dispose of tissues in a trash bin and immediately wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
Please be patient as we try to navigate through these unprecedented times. We are doing our best to keep everyone safe, while complying with recommended guidelines. We realize there are different levels of concern when it comes to COVID-19 safety, but it takes the coordinated effort from all of us to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Ensure sick staff stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons
Staff have been informed and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess staffs health status prior to entering the workplace and for staff to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.
- Conduct Visitor and Employee Health Screening Checklist prior to entering workplace. If you feel you have any of these symptoms, that cannot be attributed to another health condition, notify your immediate supervisor, go home, limit contact with others, and contact your health care provider. Your supervisor will collect any information needed, while ensuring your privacy is maintained.
- Follow guidelines from MDH COVID-19 and When to Return to Work.
- Staff with COVID-19 symptoms should go home immediately. If you cannot go home immediately, isolate in a closed room until you can go home. Staff who have been in close contact with a known case of COVID-19 should not return to work until their quarantine period (14 days) is finished.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. has implemented leave policies that promote staff staying home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.
- See US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Sargent’ Nursery Inc. will inform staff immediately if they have been directly exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and determine whether there is a need to quarantine depending on level of exposure.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. wants to ensure the safety of our staff and customers in the workplace by recommending the following:
- Any staff that can work from home is encouraged to do so.
- Maintain social distancing of at least six feet whenever possible.
- Limit collective gatherings of staff to 10 people or less.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. asks staff to help stop the spread of germs by doing the following:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear a mask if you can, especially if you are closer than 6 feet.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid sharing personal equipment.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched or shared objects and surfaces.
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. will do our best to ensure that hand sanitizer, face masks, and disposable gloves are available to anyone who requests it.
Workplace Building and Ventilation Protocols
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. maintains that we are maximizing the amount of fresh air being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited, and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained.
Workplace Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
Sargent’s Nursery Inc. is frequently cleaning and disinfecting all high touch items such as shopping carts, doorknobs, countertops, checkout stations, phones, and registers on a daily basis. We routinely clean restrooms, break room and offices. Staff should avoid sharing personal equipment, tools and phones. If shared, items should be disinfected between each use. Landscape and Maintenance crews routinely clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment at the end of each shift.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting supplies, per EPA guidelines, have been purchased are available for use. Please review product labels, follow manufacturer specifications, and use recommended protective equipment when using the product.
Cleaning and disinfecting building if someone is reported sick.
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Wait 24 hours if possible to clean and disinfect.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick.
- Vacuum the space if needed.
*Do not vacuum a room that has people in it. Wait until room is empty.
*Temporarily turn off room fans and central HVAC system so that particles will not circulate throughout the facility.
- Once area has been disinfected, it can be opened for use. Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
Cleaning and disinfecting outdoor areas
- Outdoor areas, such as playsets, require routine cleaning but do not require disinfecting. Disinfection on outdoor playsets is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public.
- High touch surfaces, such as railings and grab bars, should be cleaned routinely.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of wooden surfaces or groundcovers is not recommended.
- Sidewalks and roads need not be disinfected. Spread of COVID-19 from these surfaces is very low and disinfection is not effective.
Communications and Training Practices and Protocols
This COVID-19 preparedness plan has been communicated to all staff regarding policies, procedures and practices. This plan will be posted in the staff break room and in the back landscape office. We ask that all staff comply with and follow the recommended practices and protocols. We encourage staff to let us know if there are any areas of concern that need to be addressed and we will do our best to adjust where needed.
All staff are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan as well as updating protections, protocols, work practices and training as necessary.
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