Spokane stores making changes in anticipation of phase two

SPOKANE, Wash. — Businesses around Spokane are getting ready to welcome customers once the county is given the approval to move to phase two. Guidelines laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee have been released and stores have started making changes.

The county has applied for the variance and could be approved within one to three days.

“We’re making changes at all of our stores for social distancing for sanitizer in-front and for sanitizers all around,” said Fleet Feet owner, Wade Pannell. “Three specific cleanings throughout the day. They clean the entire store from a deep clean in the morning before customers arrive.”

Before phase two was a thought, Pannell ordered a clear screen for his store’s registers. They’re also practicing touch less forms of payment.

Each store must follow capacity guidelines.

“It’s 30% of fire code, so I think the fire code for this building is around 50,” Pannell said. “15 to 16 people with staff.”

Face masks are also required for all employees.

READ: Spokane County’s health officer wants you to wear a mask

“We’re asking every customer to come in, for the safety of our staff essentially, to don a face masks during the outfitting of the appointments as we’re spending 30 to 45 minutes with a customer during those appointments,” Pannell explained.

He said they’ve been doing curbside and virtual appointments with customers, which they’ll keep doing. Another store that’s been doing curbside is a Spokane staple.

“We’re getting anxious to open up and invite our customers back in,” said Richard Conley, owner of the White Elephant. “We’re mopping all the aisles and dusting everything off.”

At the front of their store, they have hand sanitizer, masks and a thermometer. Each employee has their temperature checked before starting.

An additional guideline laid out by Gov. Inslee is the use of floor markers in high-traffic areas of the store. It’ll show where you should stand to be six feet from another person. White Elephant is going above and beyond that.

“Where the registers are, we put up vinyl barriers between the clerks and the customer,” Conley said. “Clean as much as we can during the day and then every night.”

Both stores are eager to open, but they want to make sure all guidelines are met to keep everyone safe.

“We’re finding that customers are feeling safe and comfortable inside the environment,” Pannell said. “We’re looking forward for that day when we can run together again in larger groups, but understand that during the next few months that’s probably not going to be a reality.”

RELATED: Spokane Valley Fire Dept. provides guidelines on reduced building occupancy