University Hospitals creates free 'healthy restart playbook' to help businesses reopen safely

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 18:23:09-04

CLEVELAND — When it comes to rebounding and reopening businesses safely amid the pandemic, whether it is large or small, many have had a lot of questions. University Hospitals was getting those questions, with business owners picking the brains of their experts and physicians.

So, University Hospitals decided to put all of their recommendations, research and advice in one place for free.

It is called the UH Healthy Restart Playbook.

It was created after physicians and experts at UH were asked, over and over again, how to keep workers and customers safe as the state reopens.

“We have a phrase we’ve coined in our organization that still resonates week after week—and a week is a long time in COVID, but week after week, month after month—which is 'screen, clean and six feet in between,'” said Dr. Joan Zoltanski, leader of UH Healthy Restart.

It’s as seemingly simple as that, but with a lot more specifics.

At MAGNET, a Cleveland-based nonprofit manufacturing organization, the usual suspects are all visible as soon as you walk in.

Signs, sanitizer, spacing, masks.

They take it even farther with partitions in shared spaces and safety measures that apply to manufacturing when you can’t always physically distance.

“We put all of those things together and we go out, company by company, helping them see specifically what they can do to make their plants safer,” said Ethan Karp, President and CEO of MAGNET.

Karp said the playbook gave them a guide as they work to get manufacturing back up to speed since they turned it into a checklist to take to manufacturers.

“Knowing there is a doctor looking out and saying, ‘This is the best thing we have right now’ gives confidence,” Karp said.

It’s the same story with the Cleveland Browns, who teamed up with UH doctors to slowly reopen their facilities.

Right now, players who are rehabbing and some staff are back in the office, but the whole team should be back to start training at the end of July, according to Joe Sheehan, Senior VP of player health and development.

It’s why educating everyone constantly of the fundamentals—screen, clean, six feet in between—is so crucial.

“And we do that regularly,” Sheehan said. “Coach [Kevin] Stefanski does an outstanding job at reiterating that on a weekly basis in our team meetings because it is about education and learning about the virus, learning how to mitigate spread.”

Sheehan said all players and staff will be screened as they come into the building—and the education goes beyond just being at “work." The fundamentals need to apply to outside practices and in their personal lives.

“We know farther is safer so the further you can stay apart the safer you really are,” Sheehan said.

Dr. Zoltanski also said they have received a lot of inquiries from businesses wondering what happens after a COVID-19 case is confirmed—contact tracing, who to call, etc.

But she said the bulk of everyone’s efforts should really be spent on prevention.

Things like cleaning in front of customers instead of at night when you close and wearing a mask can signify you take everyone’s health and safety seriously.

The playbook is constantly updated with questions physicians are answering and everything they are learning about coronavirus.

It’s free and available for anyone in the public to download. You can click here to get a copy.

“Our doctors, myself included, are very motivated to slow the curve, flatten it, and we want that curve to go down,” Dr. Zoltanski said. “So anything we learn, we’re very purposeful that it will be free and available to all.”