ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In a partnership with the City of Albany, Dougherty County government and the Levee Studios, the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has created a certification for restaurants to become COVID-safe, and it’s free to local restaurants.
The Levee Studios developed the COVID-19 Safety Training Certification through its “DoProcess” platform, a press release from the CVB stated.
“It is of the utmost importance for our community to dine-in again,” said Tracy Goode, partner of The Levee Studios. “We wanted to help make sure it was done safely and quickly. To have the city, county and CVB make a leadership commitment to offer this locally, now has us rolling it out all over the country.”
Rashelle Beasley, CVB executive director, said that the Levee then pitched the idea to them and they were excited to offer the help to the restaurants.
“Our goal is to build continuity in training food service workers, while also building public trust in local restaurants," the press release explained.
Beasley said this takes the workload off of the managers of having to train each employee on the COVID-19 safety precautions, while also making sure each employee receives the exact same training across the board.
“The safety procedures used in the video training encompass the guidelines and safety precautions put in place by the CDC, State of Georgia Department of Environmental Health and our current executive order put in place by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp,” the press release states.
Beasley said the video is about 45 minutes long and is broken up into modules, so employees can work at their own pace in completing the training.
The certification is free to all local restaurant owners thanks to the City of Albany and Dougherty County Government assisting the CVB in covering the cost for the certification, Beasley told WALB News 10. She also explained that each employee gets their own specific access to the training, which also allows the CVB to track how many people are using the training and if they go back to refresh themselves on the proper COVID-19 safety procedures.
“In the months to come, our community will venture out more and visitors will start returning to Albany. It is important to the city, county and ACVB to sponsor this program to help our restaurant owners train staff on the most efficient, effective ways to sanitize and disinfect their properties to continue to curve the spread of COVID-19,” said Beasley.
Beasley said so far, 71 people have been on-boarded for the training.
As health professionals learn more about COVID-19, the necessary precautions restaurants need to take will also change, and so will the video training, making sure that restaurants can remain up-to-date on all procedures required to be promoted as a COVID-19 Safety Trained establishment.
Once a restaurant completes the training, the CVB will go out to the business, take pictures and promote it on its blog that it is certified and will include it on the restaurant’s listing on the CVB’s website that it has complete the COVID-19 Safety training, Beasley explained.
“The training is a way for us to get ahead of the curve, to show we are serious about creating a safe environment for our community and visitors,” said Beasley.
Beasley said they want to help build and contribute to a safer community and that this is one way they are doing that. She also told WALB that Kemp is looking at this training and is considering making it a statewide certification. She said other government agencies are also considering it in other states.
While the CVB is working to get ahead of the coronavirus, Beasley said it is also working on another campaign to show people what there is to love about Albany.
The campaign will use #LoveABY and showcase local heroes and positive stories out of Albany, Beasley explained.
Any restaurant looking to get the COVID-19 Safety Trained certification, or anyone who knows of a hometown hero they want to share for the #LoveABY campaign can email Beasley at email@example.com.