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 If a nearly countrywide pandemic shutdown did one thing, it’s that it converted most of us into online shoppers, whether we liked it or not. But even as a certified advocate for online shopping, I’ve found myself craving a trip to browse actual clothing racks and walls of shoes over the last few months, simply because the option was unavailable. Many stores have reopened since the pandemic prompted them to temporarily shut their doors, but as confirmed cases continue to climb, the in-door shopping experience has returned with a new set of challenges, including how to safely use the dressing room. Where retail therapy typically only warrants pondering over small feats like “which color?,” it now requires some thoughtful adjustments.

Here in Los Angeles, in-store shopping was officially approved by the L.A. Department of Public Health to resume on May 27, only if stores adhered to countywide state protocols pertaining to these five areas:

  1. "Workplace policies and practices to protect employee health."
  2. "Measures to ensure physical distancing."
  3. "Measures to ensure infection control."
  4. "Communication with employees and the public."
  5. "Measures to ensure equitable access to critical services."

According to CDC scientists, the most likely transmission of coronavirus is through contact with droplets from actions such as sneezing and coughing, but they've also determined the virus can live on certain surfaces for extended amounts of time. For dressing rooms in particular, this can pose risk to door knobs, mirrors, and even chairs and hangers. And trying on the clothes themselves — touching buttons and zippers — can pose a risk, however small that may be. Results from a survey conducted in late April by First Insight, a retail predictive analytics company, say that 65 percent of women and 54 percent of men will not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms, and as we collectively take these next steps into familiar, yet foreign territory, it’s important to keep safe practices in mind.

Read the Full Article at The Zoe Report

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