Retail businesses in the United States and across the world have entered uncharted territory with the spread of COVID-19 at pandemic levels. With customer and employee safety in jeopardy and all aspects of daily life and commerce impacted by this unprecedented event we believe it is important to answer some of the biggest questions that car wash owners and operators may have at the moment.
Please note that this is an evolving situation and the in
formation presented in this FAQ represents only our best understanding of the facts as they stand today. Best practices, policies, and advisories may change hourly, and each state is escalating their public safety policies differently.
1. My wash does not have enough wipes or sanitizer to wipe
down vacuums or automated pay stations every hour (as recommended to limit
virus transfer). What do we do?
A. Disinfectants can be made from a variety of everyday household supplies, with the most common being bleach diluted with water (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water). Wear gloves and eye protection and exercise caution when handling undiluted bleach.
2. Should our car wash limit customer/employee contact by reverting
to members only or automated payments only?
A. Every state is mandating different action. However, as of yet the CDC has not recommended the discontinuation of cash or face-to-face credit card transactions and accordingly we do not we do not believe it is necessary to limit cashier activities (where permitted by your state or local area).
Cashiers should be healthy and symptom free, wash their hands excessively, and should refrain from touching their own face while on duty. Heavily used cashier station surfaces should be sterilized and re-sterilized frequently.
3. Should our employees wear gloves and masks while on duty?
The sight of an employee wearing gloves or a mask is likely to trigger anxiety in a large portion of your customer population, and these supplies are urgently needed by healthcare professionals.
Instead focus on good handwashing procedure (20 seconds of washing with soap and warm water has been shown to be far more effective than either rubber glove use or hand sanitizer use) and limit close contact with customers wherever possible.
4. What is the protocol if an employee tests positive for
A. If an employee tests positive for the infection or displays symptoms they should immediately contact their healthcare provider and self-quarantine at home for a period of at least 14 days. The same goes for any individual who was within six feet of the employee for ten minutes or more as their symptoms could appear at any time between 2 and 14 days after exposure.
These symptoms include:
- Dry Coughing
- Shortness of Breath
All areas where the employee was active should also be thoroughly wiped down and sterilized.
5. Should we shut down our vacuum stalls?
A. Our current recommendation is that vacuum center activities
be limited to every-other stall, separating customers as much as possible in
accordance with the CDCs recommendation for social distancing. Note that as the
situation evolves (and in many states already) vacuums services may need to be
shut down entirely.
6. Should I stock up on detergents, spare parts, and other
A. As of right now we do not anticipate any disruption in the
national or Tommy Car Wash Systems supply chains. If you feel more comfortable
and have the space to house more product, you are welcome to do so.
7. How long will this epidemic last?
A. COVID-19 is spreading in every state and claiming lives already. We don’t know how long this disease will run, how the health system will hold up, or how damaging the long-term effects will be to the economy or the car wash industry in particular. But it will pass, and we will recover. Remember:
If you operate a car wash you are obligated to follow all Federal, State, and local policies first followed by the recommendations released by the CDC and Local Health Departments. As car wash operators and professionals it is our collective duty and first priority to protect the safety and welfare of our employees and guests, no matter how uncertain the situation facing us may be.
Tommy Car Wash Systems