Although the safest way to avoid contracting the covid-19 virus is to stay at home, car wash sites in North Texas are doing their best to keep their employees and customers healthy. According to Dallas County, after the increase in COVID-19 cases, it is best to only go out to essential businesses.
However, having your car washed does not present a great risk if safety measures are followed, county officials say.
Tommy Terrific's Car Wash decided to open its doors on May 4, after having been closed for a month due to the covid-19 pandemic. Tommy Terrific's has three locations, two in Dallas, which are automated carwash and one in Plano. The Plano branch is the only one that offers detailed staffing and they have taken it upon themselves to try to keep their customers safe.
“Face masks are required for all employees and customers,” said Lanese Barnett, vice president of Tommy Terrific's car warsh. "Employees have to wear gloves and we take care of disinfecting the car when the customer arrives and when the vehicle is delivered."
Tommy Terrific's is taking security measures that include checking employee temperatures, a protective screen at the cash desk, and required social distancing in the waiting room.
While car washes were called essential, this car wash closed its doors for a month to make the required changes, during which time full-time employees continued to be paid their full salary.
For its part, Forest Car Wash & Detail, in Dallas, has decided to take similar measures to insure its staff and customers.
"At the beginning of the pandemic we limited it to just outside service," said Jason Ludwick, car wash manager.
In addition, Forest Car Wash has upheld the recommendations of the authorities. Employees wear gloves and face masks, common spaces are disinfected and social distancing is maintained.
"We have improved our sanitation habits due to this situation," Ludwick said. Currently, Forest Car Wash has around 30 employees, a number that were not affected by the pandemic.
Automatic car washes are considered safe if people don't get out of their car or have contact with staff, according to Lauren Trimble, Chief of Staff to Judge Clay Jenkins.
However, Texas has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, so the Dallas government recommends that you maintain as little contact as possible with other people outside of the people you live with.
"The Public Health Committee recommends that everyone stay home unless they have to do essential things like go to the grocery store," Trimble said via email.