The Graham County Health Department would like restaurants to stop serving meals in their dining rooms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Department Director Brian Douglas released Wednesday a complete list of other recommendations as well. In addition to encouraging curbside pick-up and drive-thru services, the department recommends:

• Restaurants must establish protocols that will allow customers to have food delivered to their cars, this can include other types of food facilities as well.

• If dine-in options are to be provided, restaurants must implement “social distancing” measures so that customers can have 6 feet of space minimum between them and tables and booths including areas where customers may congregate such as around registers. An example of closing off booths or tables in between each other to increase space can be effective in implementing the “social distancing”.

• Tables, booths, and counter areas that have customer contact must be properly cleaned and sanitized after each use.

• Restaurants and food establishments must develop procedures that will allow their employees to be distanced from each other as best they can.

• Restaurants must maintain high hygiene standards and require frequent handwashing between each customer interaction and should institute illness symptom checks for workers before they are allowed to enter the establishment.

Safford Town Manager Horatio Skeete said Wednesday that the county, City of Safford and Towns of Pima and Thatcher are currently working on and funding an ad campaign for radio and other media outlets to promote a curbside takeout option for customers at restaurants.

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