Peggy Thompson is Tampa General Hospital’s director of Infection Prevention.

As businesses around the community open back up again, they face the challenge of keeping employees and customers safe from COVID-19 transmission, and so they are implementing new guidelines and policies designed to keep them safe.

Large and small businesses alike are adopting measures to encourage social distancing and enhanced sanitization as outlined by the state, with some companies going above and beyond local ordinances to take precautions.

Tampa General Hospital Prevention Response Outreach (TPRO) has been helping many local businesses and state organizations with perfecting their reopening plans and procedures.

“The program got started as a vision of our CEO, John Couris,” said TGH’s director of Infection Prevention, Peggy Thompson. “He really saw the need to try and help businesses open back up to help the economy, but he recognized that they needed to do it safely. He approached a group of us about creating this program and I loved the idea because I have been doing infection prevention for 32 years, but it has always been in a hospital. To be able to make a difference in keeping people safe and not sick so they do not have to come to the hospital, I found that very exciting.”

TPRO is a consulting service provided by the hospital that will offer the hospital’s expertise in infection prevention to organizations in Tampa Bay and beyond. This service is for those that want to safeguard their employees and visitors as they emerge from COVID-19 and reopen to the public.

This service will allow businesses, attractions and other organizations to benefit from the advice of some of Florida’s top infection prevention experts, including leaders of the hospital’s Infection Prevention team, Infectious Disease physicians from the USF Health and the hospital’s private practice physicians who specialize in infectious disease.

The feedback the hospital has gotten from businesses in the Tampa Bay community that have used their service has been wonderful.

“It has been totally receptive,” said Thompson. “I can’t think of a single customer that hasn’t done everything possible that they could to take our recommendations to make their business safer. They always come out with a better understanding of what the most important things to do are and they have been extremely grateful in their praise and referring us to other businesses in the area.”

If you would like to learn more about TPRO or if you would like to have TPRO help you with your business’ reopening plan, visit www.tgh.org/services/infectious-disease/tpro.