Strict social distancing is rigorously enforced in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette

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In addition to the deep cleaning and practicing for remote operations, the newspapers in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette are rigorously enforcing a policy of “social distancing.”

No employee can go back and forth between the facilities, including between the newsroom and front office and the production facilities, Terzotis said. Production shifts are being managed so employees of different shifts don’t come in contact with each other. Newspaper bundles are left on the dock to be picked up by carriers alone, a change from when mailroom employees would help load vehicles.

The strict distancing is to the point where an appointment with a marketing firm — located just a mile away from its Baton Rouge headquarters — was conducted remotely. “It was just one more interaction we didn’t need,” Terzotis said. “We’re keeping things as pure as we can.”

The company’s executive team meets every day, including on weekends, to stay on top of this fast-moving crisis, Terzotis notes.

Beyond the deep cleaning from the bio-hazard company, the regular cleaning crew now goes through the newspaper properties twice a day. And employees are reminded that they have to be responsible for keeping a clean environment. “We’re getting them to understand that if you got gas on your way over here — there are germs there,” Terzotis said. “It’s a matter of making them, uh, mindful.”

The New Orleans/Baton Rouge papers also are putting content about COVID-19 outside its meter, in others words: free for anyone to read.

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