Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner announced the issuance of an executive order for supermarkets and pharmacies that likely will be extended next week to require non-invasive temperature taking of employees and customers.
“I don’t believe that people with temperature should be allowed into the stores –we all worry about the risk of being infected or infecting others,” Feiner stated on Facebook. “Many people in Westchester are dying from the COVID-19 -partially because people are careless or inconsiderate of others.”
As of April 7, more than 14,000 residents of Westchester County, including nearly 300 residents of the unincorporated section of the Town of Greenburgh, have contracted the COVID-19 virus.
Feiner noted that WalMart U.S. and Sam’s Club announced on March 31 that it was instituting temperature-taking of employees with infrared thermometers when they reported to work. He added recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research released April 1 suggested that only six to 12 % of COVID-19 transmissions occur from individuals before they showed symptoms of the virus.
The supervisor’s order, which goes into effect at 6 a.m. on Friday and was supported by the town board, stipulates that grocery stores and pharmacies shall, to the extent they have not already done so, institute the following protective public health safety measures:
(a) Establish at least one hour a day during which the store is open only to customers over 60 years of age who do not exhibit COVID-19 health conditions;
(b) Limit the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time to a reasonable number, given the size of the store, to accommodate the CDC-recommended six-foot physical distancing;
(c) Mark six-foot distancing lines outside the entrance to the store and at check-out counters, provide sufficient personnel to remind customers to observe such markings, and provide appropriate signage of the distance markings;
(d) Provide hand sanitizers and/or fresh, unused gloves and, if available, face masks for each employee each day, and require them to be used while working, and post COVID-19 health safety guidelines, including re hand washing, for employees;
(e) Provide either fresh, unused gloves or sanitizing wipes to customers prior to entering the store;
(f) If the store has carts for customer use, wipe the cart handles between use by different customers; and
(g) Provide a receptacle at all exits outside the store for the disposal of gloves and masks, labelled “used masks and gloves”, and, if feasible, establish one-way aisles inside the store and separate entrances/exits for customers.
The executive order remains in effect until April 15, but Feiner stated he planned to extend it for additional five-day periods.
“I welcome input on these safety practices, or alternative safety measures, from grocery stores and pharmacies and from residents,” Feiner stated.
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