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Color-coded swans to indicate safety precautions taken at Lakeland businesses

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Businesses in Lakeland can now register as either a green swan, a blue swan or a magenta swan as a way to show customers the safety precautions they have in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Consumer choices – it’s all about finding the plan that meets your needs,” said Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz.

Mayor Mutz chairs the 36-member “Reopen Lakeland Task Force,” which unveiled the “Consumer Choices” program Tuesday at the Joinery.

“This chart makes it possible for customers to know the business’ precaution level before they ever arrive,” he said.

The green swan represents “primary precautions,” including readily available hand sanitizer and soap, reconfiguring facility design to minimize interaction between guests and encouraging the use of masks.

The next level is the blue swan, or “increased precautions.”

Businesses at this level require employees to wear masks but not customers and provides guidance for six feet of social distancing.

The final level is the magenta swan, or “comprehensive precautions.” These include mandatory masks for everyone and temperature checks, among other standards.

Businesses can provide supplemental information about precautions being taken.

“This is the base level you might do something more and it may not be the next level of precaution but something in between. That can be represented in that optional section,” said Mayor Mutz.

“What an amazing proposition to put out for the community, an easy way to assess what you feel comfortable with doing,” said Jonathan Bucklew, co-owner of the Joinery.

The Joinery opened in mid-January.

Bucklew likens his experience to riding a “mechanical bull.”

“It was insane. We felt like we just kept getting bucked off this thing and it was crazy and then all of a sudden out of the blue, the switch got turned off,” he said.

Five out of the seven vendors at the Joinery continued with curbside and takeout service during the pandemic. The Joinery fully reopened in early May.

“The Joinery as a whole, I think we will initially qualify with the primary precautions and we will allow the individual businesses within the Joinery to go to the increased precautions,” said Bucklew.

Businesses do not have to be members of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce but must have a physical address in Lakeland to participate.

If they do, they will be given a color-coded swan sticker to be placed in the window at their business.

According to the mayor, information should be available for customers on the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce website by June 8.

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