The California automobile retail sales industry has taken a hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to keep employees of automobile dealership and members of the general public safe, the state of California has established cleaning and disinfecting protocols together with physical distancing guidelines specifically for this important industry.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols for the California Automobile Sales Industry

A fundamental element underpinning the safe operation of an automobile dealership is the implementation of appropriately comprehensive coronavirus cleaning and disinfecting protocols. A key component of developing and implementing effective COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection protocols is a dealership availing itself of professional assistance. A COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection company can assist a dealership in the development of a comprehensive, effective set of protocols for enhancing the overall safety of an automobile retail center during the coronavirus pandemic.

The primary cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the California automobile retail sales industry include:

  • Regular, recurring thorough cleaning of high traffic areas at a dealership, including the showroom and service center areas.
  • Frequent disinfection of commonly used surfaces and objects, including countertops, desktops, as well as doorknobs and door handles. 
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize shared equipment between users.
  • Clean touchable work surfaces between users or between shifts, whichever is more frequent.
  • Equip all desks, terminals, customer assistance counters, and similar locations in a dealership with proper sanitization products that include hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and similar products. Personal hand sanitizers should be provided to all employees and customers. 
  • Place and provide hand sanitizer stations or dispensers throughout higher traffic areas like showrooms, lobbies, and service areas. These dispensers should be made available for use by employees and customers as well as any other people who may access a dealership’s premises. 
  • Make certain that all sanitary facilities at a dealership are in operational conditions and are fully stocked at all times. 
  • Use sanitizing products that have been listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against COVID-19. Be certain to follow product instructions. In addition, a dealership must comply with the use and safety requirements established by the state of California as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 
  • Dedicate specific employees to sanitize vehicles following test drives. In addition, identify specific employees to bear responsibility for the sanitization of high-touch surfaces in offices, lobbies, and showrooms. 
  • Utilize protective barriers to separate people whenever possible.
  • Use disposable mats and seat covers when using vehicles, including during test drives and when moving vehicles around at a dealership.
  • Modify or adjust hours of operation to provide ample time for regular deep cleaning and sanitization.
  • Consider engaging the services of a professional California COVID-19 cleaning company for coronavirus deep cleaning and sanitization. 
  • Install hands-free devices throughout the dealership.
  • Encourage the use of credit and debit cards when possible by customers. 
  • Consider upgrading a dealership’s HVAC system to better address the potential issue of circulation of airborne COVID-19.

Physical Distancing Guidelines for California Automobile Dealerships

In addition to protocols for the cleaning and disinfection of automobile dealerships, a set of physical distancing guidelines have been created for the automobile retail industry as well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly advised that the most important tactic to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus is physical distancing. As automobile dealerships expand their public interactions as California reopens, the recommended physical distancing guidelines include:

  • Implement basic measures on a comprehensive basis to ensure a physical separation between people at a dealership’s premises of at least six feet. This objective can be accomplished through the use of physical barriers and visual cues. Visual cues include floor markings, colored tape, and signs to direct people where they should stand. 
  • Install barriers when and where feasible in areas of the dealership where physical distancing is not possible. Barriers made from Plexiglas are ideally suited to this purpose.
  • Utilize signage at all entrances as well as at other strategic locations throughout a dealership to remind employees and customers of the need to maintain physical distancing and to use face coverings at every reasonable opportunity. 
  • Increase distance between tables and chairs throughout showrooms and waiting areas in order to ensure that physical distancing directives are satisfied.
  • Adjust the manner in which in-person meetings are held to ensure physical distancing directives are met.
  • Place specific limitations on the number of people permitted in different enclosed areas in a dealership.
  • Reconfigure offices, cubicles, conference rooms, and other spaces to ensure the satisfaction of the six feet level of physical separation. 
  • Refashion or stagger employee break times to maintain physical distancing guidelines. 
  • Reconfigure common areas throughout the dealership to maintain physical distancing directives.
  • Adjust maximum occupancy rules associated with a dealership premises to comply with state or local mandates and with the physically distancing mandates. This includes limiting the number of people in showrooms at the same time.
  • Provide separate and clearly designated entrances and exits into and out of a dealership. This better ensures a proper flow of people through a facility and enhances the prospects for maintaining physical distancing guidelines.
  • Request that vendors and other noncustomer business visitors comply with physical distancing guidelines and to wear face coverings. 
  • Permit only one customer in a vehicle during a test drive, with the dealership employee seated in the opposite back seat. 
  • Both customers and employees must wear masks during a test drive.
  • Encourage customer appointments in order to reduce the number of drop-in visits to a dealership.
  • Offer curbside delivery and pickup whenever possible. 
  • Utilize digital sales contracts and other agreements and documents. Take advantage of digital platforms whenever feasible.
  • Discontinue shuttle services oftentimes connected with service centers.
  • Require employees to stop using handshakes and similar types of greetings that violate physical distancing guidelines.

By following these protocols and guidelines and taking advantage of professional services from a COVID-19 remediation company for coronavirus deep cleaning and disinfection, a dealership best controls virus contamination and the infection of people on the premises. These protocols and guidelines ensure the enhanced safety and health of all people who have occasion to be at a dealership.