This week, we checked in at PetSmart.
As COVID-19 case counts continue to climb in Alamance County, we’re venturing out to see how the community is responding to phased reopening and continued social distancing recommendations.
We’ll spend some time in the coming weeks observing masks worn and social distancing at various locations – both businesses and shared public spaces – and let you know what we see. We hope to better inform decisions you choose to make.
Also, let us know your observations: Are there stores and businesses doing creative, helpful things? Are there places where customer behavior hasn’t caught up with the best practices? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Facebook. We will try to track down some of your observations.
Here are the guidelines Elizabeth Pattman is following for her reporting visits:
- 30 minutes at each location
- Weekday or weekend noted
- Public places or businesses
- All observations are a surprise to the location
- Masks worn
- Masks worn properly
- Social distancing practiced
- Posted guidelines, signage, floor decals marking six-foot separation and signage recommending or requiring the use of masks
- Cleaning protocols
PetSmart, University Drive, Burlington
On Thursday, Oct. 22, Pattman walked around PetSmart for about 25 minutes, from 10:17 to 10:43 a.m.
Here’s what she found:
Thursday morning at PetSmart was slow, with very few customers or employees in store.
At the entrance, two signs reminding customers to wearing face coverings and keep their distance were posted. On the sliding double doors, information about COVID-19 was offered, with more signage posted inside near the registers.
Hand sanitizer was available near the checkout line and at a table in the entryway, but cart wipes or other cleaning products were not observed.
While the pet supply store at one time had plastic barriers up between customers and employees at checkout, one-way aisle markers and cleaning after each customer at the register, these precautions were gone while Pattman was in store Thursday.
With so few people and employees in store, social distancing was easy to maintain.
Mask use was also strong Thursday, with all employees and all but one customer masked. Two employees were seen with their masks below their noses on and off during Pattman’s visit and no enforcement of proper use or enforcement for the customer who skipped a mask entirely was observed.
A sign near the entry noted that if customers did not have a mask, they could ask an employee for one.
Pattman did not observe any cleaning at the registers or high-touch surfaces while in store Thursday.