Along with the rest of the world, the drycleaning industry is confronting a
public health threat of yet
unknown dimensions that has brought a host of rules, restrictions and advisories
that have brought
most normal activities to a halt, including business as usual.
How can cleaners cope? Already struggling in the face of declining piece counts,
the shuttering of
businesses and schools seriously disrupts the usual flow of customers and work,
yet cleaners, who in
some cases have been designated essential businesses by governmental
authorities, must carry on.
In California, several counties in the Bay Area invoked a “shelter-in-place” order, telling people to stay
home except to take care of essential errands. This means that all but essential
businesses are to shut
down. Drycleaners, laundromats and laundry service providers were among a short
list of businesses
The list of businesses under orders to shut down and those listed as essential
varies from one local to
the next and is likely to be in a state of flux for at least a while.
For cleaners trying to operate in these circumstance both the Drycleaning and
Laundry Institute and the
National Cleaners Association have issued recommendations on how to proceed
while ensuring the
safety of employees and customers.
“We are operating on the premise that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure in stopping the
spread of COVID 19,” said NCA. “It is estimated that for every person testing positive for the virus,
there are five to ten people carrying the virus without knowledge. Just
following the arithmetic, the
chances are reasonable that one of your customers could have the virus. Since
you don’t know who that
customer may be, we recommend taking all the precautions necessary to protect
your team and your