Dealerships must remain vigilant about the health and safety of employees and customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, say three groups that each have had to deal with cases of employees who tested positive for the virus.
Dealers have adapted to new realities amid the pandemic, including instituting thorough safety protocols for employees such as requiring daily health questionnaires, temperature checks and wearing face masks, panelists said in the latest edition of the online Automotive News Retail Forum: Dealer Discussions series, which focused on employee issues and safety.
Billy Fuccillo Jr., president of Fuccillo Automotive Group with 23 stores in New York and three in Florida, said he had multiple staffers at one dealership test positive. That led to closing the store for a few days for heightened cleaning including inside the air ducts and air filtration systems, he said. That store also instituted a temperature check policy.
"We really took it seriously for both our clients and our team," he said. "And I think that the temperature policy was important, especially after one person tested positive. It made our team feel comfortable, it made our employees feel comfortable [and] it made me feel comfortable."
Amanda Grappone Osmer, director of corporate potential for the four-rooftop Grappone Automotive Group in Bow, N.H., said one staff member tested positive for the virus but was asymptomatic. Osmer said the employee was believed not to have contracted the virus at work, but while hosting an out-of-state guest at a Memorial Day cookout. The group did contact tracing and ultimately 37 people were tested — all negative, she said.