Fresno businesses change public health protections to meet city order

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Stricter public health protections take effect Wednesday at every essential business in Fresno.

Workers at Foster Farms have a new view of the entrance to the southwest Fresno processing plant.

RELATED: Fresno's essential businesses must follow new protocols under new 'shelter in place' order

The walkway is marked off in six-foot increments and employees greet them in a temporary tent to make sure they don't have a fever or other coronavirus symptoms.

The city has ordered every essential business to take steps to make sure their employees stay healthy.

"That includes making sure they screen every single employee that comes in according to the Fresno County public health screening tool and that they exercise social distance when they come in and as they operate their business," said Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias.

Fifty code enforcement officers paid visits earlier this week to some of the city's biggest employers to give them advice about how to get it done.

"These kind of protections apply to all essential businesses that currently operate in our city," Arias said. "So you should see this at Amazon, at Costco, Walmart, Save Mart, and Foster Farms and every other essential business."

Amazon is closed after a fire Tuesday, but employees told Action News they've been checking temperatures for a while now and tried to increase social distancing.

RELATED: More than 50 firefighters called to fire at Amazon Fulfillment Center in southwest Fresno

Businesses need to post their social distancing policy outside the doors and if they have customers, they have to mark off six-feet increments for standing in line outside or inside.

Costco had the lines marked, but customers just flowed into the store Wednesday.

Winco, on the other hand, had employees outside making sure shopping carts were clean and customers kept their distance.

They all have to provide hand sanitzer or some other disinfectant for customers and employees.

They have to offer facial coverings for employees.

But Arias says the safety protocols are even more important at food processing places like Foster Farms.

Several food processing plants in the Midwest and the East Coast have closed this week after the virus spread between dozens of employees.

"If we put these protections in place early on and now, before we see a huge outbreak among the employees, then we can protect the whole food supply system," he said.

Fresno code enforcement officers will be conducting spot checks and answering complaints from employees.

They'll warn businesses before fining them.

They've already fined five non-essential businesses for staying open even after warnings.

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