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Naperville CC limits employees’ exposure

By |  April 2, 2020 0 Comments

For Naperville Country Club in Naperville, Ill., the main concern is limiting its employees’ exposure to the coronavirus, according to superintendent Kyle Barton.

The precautionary measures in place at the club include disinfecting all door handles and surfaces multiple times daily, assigning each person a specific cart, wearing gloves while working, staggering lunch times so 6 feet of distance is kept among employees, wiping down steering wheels after use, washing hands often, wiping down tools with disinfectant after use, staying home if sick and not allowing outside vendors until further notice.

“(These measures) keep our exposure level to a minimum,” Barton says. “We’re only a staff of five right now, so if we can keep (contact) to a staff of five and their families who they’re coming into contact with, then we’re just limiting exposure.”

He hopes that these measures will prevent a shutdown of his maintenance department.

“So far, it hasn’t affected our workplace other than us taking precautionary measures. If we show that we’re taking the proper precautions, we won’t have to shut down our maintenance department,” Barton says. “We can’t really help whether they shut down the clubhouse or golf course or not, but we want to be able to keep working on the golf course so that when this whole thing is over, (golfers) have a good playing surface to come back to.”

Barton adds that since the club is in its off-season right now, the effect of COVID-19 hasn’t been a huge issue yet, even if a shutdown of golf courses does go into effect.

“I think long term, we’ll be OK,” he says. “I would say in the very near future, it’s going to change some people’s plans and change the way people think. We’re going to have to come together and get through it.”

One superintendent source tells Golfdom that his course is still open, but in addition to removing commonly touched items flagsticks and bunker rakes, he’s spreading out his crews by separating them into thirds and staggering shifts.

“We’re just trying to figure out ways, since what they’re saying is, with the coronavirus, if one person gets sick, everyone on that team will need to be quarantined,” he says.

Now, one of the course’s mechanic’s sole job is sanitizing. All team meetings are held outside, and aside from his typical scheduling via Task Tracker, the superintendent is sending out directions so his crew members stay separate.

In the event of a closure, he’s following hurricane procedures: making sure fuel is full on equipment and that sprays are ready in the event that the team receives a 12-hour notice to stop operations for a week or so.

“Grass doesn’t care what the coronavirus is; it’s still going to grow,” he says. “So, we can spray PGR out on the course and make sure that nothing grows for a week, week and a half while we’re gone.”

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