• Salem Chamber Covid-19 update

    Salem Chamber Covid-19 update

    A Brief Pause for In-Person Programming

    All around us, our region is taking action to minimize the spread of COVID-19. In congruence with the guidance of Governor Baker as well as the actions of other chambers and organizations, the Salem Chamber of Commerce will pause in-person programming until April 15, at which point we will determine next steps. We intend to reschedule our current events, including the Celebrate Salem Awards Dinner, Coffee Connections and After Hours events, when it is safe to do so. Just like you, we are taking this situation seriously and day-by-day.
     
    Voting for the Celebrate Salem Awards nominees will continue as planned, as we believe it is a great way to share the excellence that exists within the Salem business community. The Celebrate Salem Awards dinner itself will be postponed, to a date that will be announced later.
     
    Business Doesn't Stop—and Neither Do We

    Business hasn't stopped, and your Chamber hasn't either. Our legislative advocacy work continues. Meetings will continue virtually. And our staff will continue to work, be it in the office or from home, to serve our members during this challenging time.
     
    A New Strategy
     
    New developments call for a new strategy. To that end, we're refocusing some of our resources to support digital member and community engagement. Be on the lookout for e-blasts, our regular newsletters, as well as exciting member stories and engagement opportunities on our social platforms. We will continue to build community and support commerce, even "from home." We will temporarily halt in-person meetings.
     
    COVID-19 Prevention Resources
     
    To help protect our overall community, we want to remind our members there are steps we all can take to prevent further spread of the virus. In addition to frequent hand washing, you can help by limiting person-to-person interaction with telecommunication efforts.
     
    Why Salem Restaurant Week will go on as planned
     
    There is currently no evidence of food being associated with COVID-19 transmission, according to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The risks are largely associated with interacting with other people. Restaurants themselves already are following stringent food safety regulations, and staff are highly trained. Restaurant customers should follow common-sense precautions, as advised by public health authorities, to avoid further spread of the virus.
     
    Additional steps our local restaurants are taking:

    • Removing tables creating a greater distance separating diners and increase spacing between tables. Maintaining social distancing in restaurants is critical not just for your own sake, but for others, as well. 
    • Adding hand sanitizer stations at various areas of the restaurants
    • Sanitize menus after every use. 
    • Salt, pepper and condiment containers will be sanitized after every seating
    • Additional staff sanitizing surfaces throughout the restaurants
    • Curbside pickup is available at a number of Salem’s restaurants.  
    • Restroom surfaces (including door handles) will be sanitized after each use

    From medical and public health experts, here are best practices on how to safely dine out during the coronavirus outbreak:

    • First, if you are sick or starting to feel respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing, you should avoid dining out.
    • Hand washing is exactly as essential as every health organization, epidemiologist, and other experts say it is. Washing your hands immediately before you eat, after you’ve used the restroom, and after touching surfaces that could potentially be contaminated is essential.
    • When in doubt, takeout or food delivery are good alternatives to going out to eat.  Just be sure to still wash your hands thoroughly after handling all the packaging materials (paper or plastic bag, receipt, menus, etc.) prior to eating.
    • And to support your favorite restaurant, server, sous-chef and back of the house employee, consider buying gift certificates now, to be used later.
    And of course, the Salem Chamber will review all policies and practices on a daily basis, and will cancel the event if needed.
     
    Kind regards,
     
    Rinus
     
    Rinus Oosthoek
    Executive Director
    Salem Chamber of Commerce
    265 Essex Street
    Salem, MA 01915
    T. 978-744-0004 *116
     

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