The current COVID-19 epidemic has led to a great deal of changes for our everyday lives. Most of us have followed the stay-at-home order for several months, and are eager to return to a degree of normalcy with the reopening of businesses and services. Several regions across the country are already reopening their economies, and the rest of us expect normal business to resume soon.
However, as businesses reopen and we return to our normal lives, we are left responsible for protecting ourselves from the virus and thereby protecting the vulnerable in our society. Business owners are the first line of defense against the spread of coronavirus in their establishments. As a result, businesses are having to plan and communicate their own regulations to keep their staff and customers safe.
Ajay Cleaners is no different. We have made a series of changes to protect the health of our valuable staff and customers. We plan to continue with extra precautions as long as necessary until the spread of the virus is contained.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stressed that the most important step establishments can take is rigorous and consistent cleaning of facilities and equipment. At Ajay Cleaners, we have implemented additional daily cleaning of our five Manhattan locations. We are giving special attention to areas of our facilities which come into contact with the public such as door handles, front desk areas and card readers.
The staff at our locations have been trained in additional hygiene practices throughout their workday, including regular hand washing after interacting with customers, helping customers maintain physical distancing, and staying home if they or anyone they live with has shown any signs of sickness. We are continually communicating with our staff as we transition back to normal business, and are prepared to adjust our policies in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines.
In order to protect staff and customers from viral spread through the exchange of money, we are temporarily accepting card payments only. While the World Health organization has not issued specific advisories regarding the exchange of cash, recent research suggests that the virus can remain on fibrous surfaces such as banknotes for up to 24 hours, and on metal surfaces such as coins anywhere from several hours to several days depending on the metal. We ask that customers to please be prepared with a credit or debit card when collecting garments.
We are providing staff at all our locations with additional cleaning and protective materials including gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes. We are also providing hand sanitizer in public locations of our facilities for use by our customers.
While Ajay Cleaners is taking as many additional precautions as we can, we also urge our customers to take personal precautions as well. We encourage patrons to wash hands or make use of hand sanitizer provided after public exchanges and maintain physical distance from other customers and staff. We are all responsible for one another, so we encourage everyone to do their part in protecting their neighbor. With a sense of discipline and a community spirit, we are confident that we can get through this time together.