The Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council (MGGC) released a statement Monday stressing the state’s retail greenhouses and garden centers are ready to open and operate safely while protecting customers and workers from COVID-19.
The council says it provided an action plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on how greenhouses and garden centers would safely operate, provide paychecks and meet the needs of consumers during the state’s health crisis.
These garden centers and greenhouses are not considered “essential” under the governor’s order. They want to be part of the first phase of business re-openings. Gov. Whitmer said she would be open to considering some lifted restrictions on May 1.
According to the MGGC, operational changes occurring in greenhouses to protect customers and workers include:
- Offering online shopping, call ahead orders, curbside pickup or delivery as available.
- Limiting the number of customers near the cash registers and in the store at any given time. Many retailers are marking the floor in check-out lines to encourage social distancing.
- Sanitizing all carts, baskets, door handles throughout the day, as well as the credit card pads.
- Sanitizing all surfaces regularly.
- Having hand sanitizer available at the checkout for consumers and staff.
- Requiring social distancing between staff and customers in the store, grounds and greenhouses. Greenhouses are so large, social distancing is not hard and the person-per-square foot guidelines are easily met.
- Greenhouses are also respectfully asking any individual – whether a customer or an employee – exhibiting even minor symptoms to stay home.
The MGGC says the greenhouse industry is a central part of Michigan’s agricultural economy, employing more than 9,000 people across the state and contributing $740 million to the economy annually.
For more information, visit www.mggc.org.