Cooper highlights safety training program for restaurants, other businesses

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services were joined on Friday, May 22 by North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) President and CEO Lynn Minges to highlight Count on Me NC, a free online training program to help restaurants, hotels and other businesses learn ways to protect customers and employees from COVID-19.

“Our economy will rebound when people have confidence in their safety, and Count on Me NC is an innovative partnership to help businesses protect their customers and their employees,” Cooper said. “We will continue working with health experts and the private sector as we work to defeat COVID-19.”

Businesses across North Carolina can participate in this no-cost training that was developed with the NC Department of Health and Human Services. It includes evidence-based practices on social distancing, employee health and sanitation to protect people’s health.

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The first phase of Count on Me NC training is designed for restaurants and hospitality businesses that serve food. The program plans to expand to other tourism businesses including lodging and attractions and add courses in Spanish by June.

As of May 22, more than 3,500 businesses have already completed Count on Me NC training with more signing up daily. Participating businesses will receive printable certificates to display in their establishments to show they completed the training.

“Count on Me conveys a sense of mutual responsibility as the hospitality industry prepares to welcome guests back into our dining rooms and other establishments,” said Minges. “We believe customers will appreciate the commitment participating businesses are making to protect their health, the health of other patrons, and the health of our employees by following the guidance of top public health experts. At the same time, we will rely on our guests to do their part to limit risk to fellow diners and the people serving them.”

“Count on Me NC also encourages customers to take precautions before returning to restaurants, especially if they’re in a high-risk population and to be respectful towards staff as they adjust to these guidelines,” stated a press release from the governor’s office. “Individuals can take the Count on Me Pledge to practice the Three Ws – wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, wait six feet apart from others – and to stay home if they’re feeling sick.”

See which businesses have completed training and learn more on how to participate at



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