Air Date

June 10, 2020

Featured Guest

Maddie Watkins
Founder, 202Strong


Jeanette Mulvey
Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, CO—


With businesses such as restaurants, gyms, and shopping centers reopening to the public, owners need to have a health and safety plan in place. Although the vaccination process for COVID-19 is underway, it will take some time before the U.S. and the rest of the world reaches the herd immunity threshold that will allow businesses to operate as normal. In the meantime, they still need to take proper health protocols.

If an employee or customer of a business contracts COVID-19, the organization needs to be fully prepared to deal with it. Contract tracing and sterile cleaning procedures are helpful protocols that will ensure anyone stepping inside your business feels safe. Before businesses resume operations, these protocols must be in place.

Have a Plan to Integrate Virtual and In-Person Gatherings

As the founder of gym 202Strong, Maddie Watkins faced many uncertainties about the viability of running a gym when the coronavirus pandemic first hit last spring. However, the setback allowed her to start hosting virtual classes to keep people in shape.

“I went to virtual classes because I didn't want people to stop working out,” Watkins said. “I wanted to provide a way for you to work out in your living room with household items that you had and not really make the excuse of ‘there's no gym, we can't work out.’ “

Watkins wanted her members to not only feel safe but get the same experience they would in the gym at home. That way, if they feel uncomfortable or cautious about returning to a gym as things reopen, they have an alternative option.

“I wanted our members to get the same feel of being in class and seeing each other, seeing the coach, the same kind of programming and structure,” she explained, adding that these classes take place on Zoom. “Then, I took this opportunity to create an online platform that I kind of always wanted to but never carved out the time to. I created StrongLine, which is an on-demand membership option where you can stream into a class, or you can also view [the class] on-demand on your own.”

Be Open When It Comes to Contract Tracing

If your customer or employee contracts COVID-19, it’s your responsibility to start a line of open communication with anyone they may have been in contact with.

“I believe in honest, transparent communication,” Watkins said. “If my coach had it and then they coached a class, I would want everyone to be aware so that they can get themselves tested, they can quarantine themselves if needed, and just honestly communicate it and let it be known.”

She noted that this builds trust with other coaches and members, so they can properly sanitize and “[put] the safety and health of everyone first, before trying to just run your business and pretend it never happened.”

From the Series

CO— Blueprint