On May 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a new step-by-step guidance for employers resuming their business operations amid the coronavirus pandemic. The checklist provides a blueprint for businesses on how to create a safe and healthy work environment with focus on protecting employees and clients in office buildings.
Check the building for occupancy readiness.
- Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly
- Increase circulation of outdoor air by opening windows and doors, using fans and other methods (unless doing so poses a safety or health risk)
- Evaluate the building and check for hazards associated with prolonged shutdown such as mold, rodents or pests
Identify potential hazards for Covid-19 transmission.
This includes conducting a thorough hazard assessment and identifying potential workplace hazards—such as common areas where employees could have close contact with others (e.g., meeting rooms, break rooms, check-in areas, waiting areas)—that could increase risks for Covid-19 transmission.
Isolate workers from the hazard.
- Modify or adjust seats, furniture and workstations to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between employees
- Install transparent shields or other physical barriers where social distancing is not an option
- Use methods to physically separate employees in all areas of the facility including work and other areas
- Use signs, tape marks or other visual cues to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible
- Take steps to improve ventilation in the building
- Consider using portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration system to enhance air cleaning
- Ensure exhaust fans in restroom facilities are functional and operating
- Consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement to help inactivate the virus.
Change the way people work
- Actively encourage employees who have Covid-19 symptoms or who have a sick family member at home with Covid-19 to stay home
- Consider daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g., symptoms and/or temperature screening) of employees before they enter the worksite
- Stagger shifts, start times and break times to reduce density of employees in common areas
- Consider posting signs in parking areas and entrances that ask guests and visitors to phone from their cars when they reach the facility; and/or to wear cloth face coverings if possible, to not enter the building if they are sick, and to stay 6 feet away from employees, if possible
- Post signs and reminders on hand hygiene, Covid-19 symptoms and cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Promote and provide sufficient time and access to maintain proper hygiene
- Establish policies and practices for social distancing
- Employees should wear a cloth face covering in all areas of the business except under certain circumstances such as if they have trouble breathing
- Consider support for employees who commute to work using public transportation
Check the CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Employers should review CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, applicable to all employers on creating new sick leave policies, cleaning and employee communication policies and create a workplace health and safety plan. CDC Interim Guidance can found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.
The CDC guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html. The CDC has free posters including on wearing a cloth face covering, which can be downloaded and printed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/print-resources.html.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and update this information to provide the latest workplace and legal developments related to Covid-19. We expect your questions and our answers will change as the situation develops. For answers to your specific questions and for the newest developments, please visit our website at www.donnellygross.com/covid-19-resources/ and contact us at Donnelly + Gross at 352-374-4001 or directly by email:
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*This publication is for general information only and intended for clients and friends of Donnelly + Gross. It should not be relied upon as legal advice as the law related to each situation varies. Moreover, workplace law related to Covid19 is dynamic and changing daily. The sharing of this information does not establish a client relationship.