Clean Hands Open Doors

The RAEDC is proud to be part of the Clean Hands, Open Doors program.

Embracing the importance of a shared commitment to public health and desiring to see the local economy re-open in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, today a coalition of 16 civic organizations and government entities invited local businesses and organizations to voluntarily commit to seven standards intended to reduce disease transmission and help build consumer confidence as the economy re-opens.

According to SMARInsights, 85 percent of consumers say that knowing the cleaning and sanitizing protocols for a city and its establishments would make them more comfortable.

“Our region’s businesses and organizations are taking careful public health measures to protect their customers and employees. Their commitment to follow the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and other health officials will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of our residents and visitors,” said Anne Weerda, executive director of Burpee Museum of Natural History and co-chair of the Rockford Region Rebounding Tourism & Hospitality Working Group, which is spearheading the effort.

By taking the pledge, entities will gain access to a toolkit of graphics for display, suggestions on how they can share their commitment with customers and will be listed on

“I appreciate the work being done by our Tourism & Hospitality Working Group as we get ready to reopen parts of our economy,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Taking this pledge tells our residents and visitors that we’re focused on their health and we’ll be ready for them to return to the things they enjoy doing.”

The committee’s work is focused on supporting all components of the industry. “Here in the Rockford Region, we’re all in this together. Working together, we can keep our residents and visitors healthy by taking the Clean Hands, Open Doors Pledge. Taking the pledge and sharing that commitment in their marketing will indicate to residents and visitors that a company or
organization is committed to opening and operating in a safe, responsible and sustainable way,” said John Groh, president and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and working group co-chair.

The committee wants to share best practices. “Rebounding with structures and resources for businesses will help our region work together with common goals and strategies. This is critical for the safety of our community during this transition time,” said Weerda.

The website – – is where entities can pledge principles of best practices in facing the reopening during the pandemic, as well as keeping the region healthy in the future.

Customized URLs for Belvidere and Freeport are also available, e.g.

Clean Hands, Open Doors Pledge: We Pledge to…

Face Coverings
Require our staff to wear face coverings when interacting with guests. Require our customers to wear face coverings, if medically able.

Clean Hands
Implement staff protocols for rigorous hand-washing, and provide hand-sanitizing or handwashing stations for customers.

Follow CDC guidance for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, equipment, and other elements in our environment.

Social Distance
Reduce our occupancy and ensure staff and guests practice social distancing guidelines of six feet.

Wellness Checks
Conduct wellness screenings of staff and limit contact with other staff and guests.

Training and Protocols
Train staff on safety procedures and implement protocols to increase guest well-being (ex: no touch credit/debit cards, adjusted traffic flow in building).

Public Health Guidelines
Adhere to all orders and directives issued by Centers for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, and our local County Health Department.

The Clean Hands, Open Doors pledge was developed by the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in collaboration with the Rockford Region Rebounding Tourism & Hospitality Working Group, but it’s not just for businesses that serve visitors, said Groh. “We invite all local businesses and organizations to take and display this pledge. Our objective is to keep all of us – residents and visitors – healthy and safe.”

For more information or to sign up for the Clean Hands, Open Doors pledge, visit


  • City of Rockford
  • Winnebago County
  • Winnebago County Health Department
  • Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History
  • Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Boone County Health Department
  • City of Freeport
  • Greater Freeport Partnership
  • Parks Chamber of Commerce
  • Rockford Area Arts Council
  • Rockford Area Economic Development Council
  • Rockford Chamber of Commerce
  • Stateline Chamber of Commerce
  • Stephenson County Health Department
  • Transform Rockford