Partnership Connects Businesses through Video Forum

One silver lining of COVID-19 could be the new ways people are finding to collaborate, problem-solve and remain connected.

One such way happened May 6.

“This is the first time we’ve done this in Door County,” said Brian Stephens, CEO of Door County Medical Center (DCMC), during a videoconference for community and business members that he moderated jointly with Door County Public Health.

The formal partnership between the two entities released guidelines last week to help local businesses prepare to reopen toward the end of May and to assist essential businesses as they continue promoting safe work environments.

The guidelines were written in the form of commitments: what businesses may commit to doing to protect customers and employees, and what businesses will ask customers to commit to doing for the health of the community. Cornerstone community-spread prevention guidelines were included: masking, hand washing, the maintenance of at least six feet of social distance, and cleaning and disinfecting.

The one-hour meeting drew close to 200 participants, creating a forum that connected people from many sectors. They posed questions through the chat box and problem-solved among themselves about things such as where to get supplies such as masks and touchless sanitizers.

Participants’ questions were wide ranging, with many centered around the community-spread aspect of the virus, such as whether a person could contract it through food (“It’s less of a concern spreading through food” than by respiratory means, DCMC’s Dr. Jim Heise said), or by trying on clothing or jewelry.

Stephens said it’s harder to contract from surfaces, and Heise said he “wouldn’t be afraid of trying on clothes. I don’t see a huge risk there.” 

The partnership intends to hold the videoconference meetings every two weeks, Stephens said, to continue educating leaders, employers and customers about infection-prevention best practices.