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Erie County, PA offers all local restaurants free digital tools to plan for safe COVID reopening

Erie County, PA, USA

At a Glance

Erie County developed a free, optional digital tool for local restaurants to use to prepare to safely reopen for on-site dining after COVID closures. It helps restaurants understand the complex new protocols necessary to keep staff and employees safe.

Problem Addressed

After COVID closures, restaurants are reopening, but many struggle to fully understand and implement the complex requirements for employee and customer health. Erie County wanted a way for restaurants to do more than just read a PDF document, they wanted a way for restaurant owners to interact with the reopening guidance so they could develop personalized reopening safety plans for their Food Facilities.

Erie County, PA used/is using a CityGrows free reopening workflow to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

CityGrows is a low-cost workflow automation tool for local government. Together with the Environmental Health Team from Erie County, CityGrows quickly developed, tested, and launched a Food Facility Reopening workflow. Restaurants sign on, find their establishment from the County's list of licensed eateries, provide information about their plans to reopen, and agree to implement a series of safety features both for their staff and for their customers. At the end of the workflow, they can download their personalized reopening plan. County Health staff can provide feedback and guidance on this optional, supportive, and no-cost process.


  1. Restaurants will be better prepared to reopen and increase safety for employees and diners.
  2. The County is able to quickly review and give feedback on reopening plans.

Lessons Learned

  1. Having access to flexible, configurable digital workflow tools is invaluable during a crisis when things change rapidly.

Who Should Consider?

Any County or Municipal Health Department that's looking for a way to help their restaurants reopen and/or stay open while reducing COVID risk for diners and employees.