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Health care workers educate businesses on safely reopening

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Johnson County is one of the 22 counties where restaurants and retail stores were not allowed to reopen at 50% capacity Friday. However, an area emergency doctor and pharmacist took the day to spread a message of sanity and safety to business owners.

"It won't last forever," Dr. David Krupp said, an emergency room doctor in Iowa City.

Krupp, along with Robbie Schwenker from NuCara Pharmacy in Coralville, delivered packets to restaurants and shops in Iowa City -some of whom were closed- about how to safely return to normalcy in the coming months.

"We could have another increase in cases. So, anything we can do to help mitigate that is extremely important," Schwenker said.

The two asked businesses to display "Masks of Wellness" in their windows; a sticker alerting customers they're following Center for Disease Control recommendations and best practices.

A Mask of Wellness outside Pagliai's Pizza on East Bloomington Street.

The team, joined by 20 University of Iowa student volunteers Friday, is asking businesses to mandate every employee wear a mask, frequently clean surfaces, and keep staff home when they're sick.

"He's actively trying to spread three simple steps of how we can all stay safe," Jodi Connolly said, the owner of Buzz Salon on the pedestrian mall.

While Johnson County still has additional restrictions on businesses until at least mid-May, stores can let people shop inside as long as they schedule an appointment and keep it to groups of less than ten.

Active Endeavors on Clinton Street says it's used this, sparingly, to let customers do something like try on running shoes.

"We put a bench right inside the front door," manager Brian Nerad said. "They come right up to the door, sit down, and try them on."

The team is tracking businesses that pledge a safe reopening on this website.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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