Count on Me NC

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Count On Me NCI love to eat out. I usually eat out with my husband’s family two times a week, once for dinner on Thursday nights and then breakfast on Saturday mornings. It is a great time to see how everyone is doing and how their week is going. We are creatures of habit and we always go to the same restaurant for breakfast so we know the staff well and love seeing how they are doing too. I really miss going out to restaurants. We have continued to support these businesses by ordering takeout, but I am ready to sit at a table that is not at my house!

As restaurants start to open back up for dine-in service, some people might be weary on the safety of going out to eat again. There are a lot of questions you might have. The NC State Extension Food Safety Specialists have partnered with NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Restaurant and Lodging Association and Visit NC to develop a program called Count On Me NC.

“The Count On Me NC program is focused on providing the necessary knowledge and information needed to manage COVID-19 within businesses as restrictions are relaxed. As part of the voluntary program there are free, online courses provide a consistent approach based on state and national guidelines. The program is also partnered with a marketing campaign and customer expectations, with the intent to create shared responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Natalie Seymour, Extension Associate, wrote in an email that was sent out to the Family Consumer Science Agents within N.C. Cooperative Extension.

These courses are not just for restaurants though. They also include general information for many businesses planning to reopen including hotels and lodging, salons, spas, fitness centers, museums, and retail stores. If you are employed at a business that serves the public, it would be beneficial to take the generic courses.

If you are a consumer, you can visit the Guest Pledge tab and learn steps you can take to help keep others safe while dining out, shopping, and visiting hospitality and tourism attractions. Some steps include washing your hands, wearing a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart from others and as always, be kind and respectful to staff and other guests as everyone is trying to adjust to the new guidelines.

As more businesses get trained in the Count On Me NC program you will be able to check the interactive map to see what businesses in your area have participated. This can help you and your family have peace of mind while venturing back out to visit our wonderful local businesses, because I know I am ready!

For more information on the Count On Me NC program you can visit the website Count On Me NC.