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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines to assist employers when reopening during the pandemic. Besides continuing to follow the recommendations issued by state and local health departments regarding the best course of action, you should pay attention to these five steps.
Consider Preliminary Questions Before Reopening
Consider three questions when deciding whether to reopen:
- Are you in a community no longer requiring significant mitigation?
- Will you be able to limit non-essential employees to those from the local geographic area?
- Do you have protective measures for employees at higher risk?
You should only consider reopening if you can answer “yes” to each of the three questions.
Take Recommended Safety Actions
If your organization can satisfy the preliminary questions, you should adopt these safety actions next::
- Promote healthy hygiene practices
- Intensify cleaning & disinfection
- Cancel non-essential travel and encourage alternative commuting and teleworking
- Space out seating (more than 6 feet) and stagger gathering times
- Restrict use of any shared items and spaces
- Train all staff in the above safety actions
Implement Safeguards for the On-going Monitoring of Employees
Before reopening you should implement safeguards for the on-going monitoring of employees, which include:
- Encourage employees who are sick to stay home
- Establish routine daily employee health checks
- Monitor absenteeism and having flexible time off policies
- Have an action plan if a staff member gets COVID-19
- Create and testing emergency communication channels for employees
- Establish communication with state and local health authorities
Prepare Your Physical Workspace for Reopening
The final step before you reopen your doors involves preparing your physical workspace for the reentry of workers, customers guests and other visitors. The CDC released guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes.
For indoor areas, the CDC recommends normal, routine cleaning for areas that have been unoccupied within the last seven days. For indoor areas that have been occupied with in the last seven days, the CDC recommends that frequently touched surfaces and objects made of hard and non-porous materials (glass, metal, or plastic) be cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Frequently touched surfaces and objects made of soft and porous materials such as carpet, rugs, or material in seating areas should be thoroughly cleaned or laundered. If possible, the CDC recommends considering removing soft and porous materials in high traffic areas. Surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched should be cleaned on a routine basis.
Your work is not completed once you open your doors and welcome back your workers and others. The CDC recommends that you should maintain routine cleaning and disinfection procedures after reopening to reduce the potential for exposure. Finally, you should continue to monitor COVID-19 in your area and if necessary, be prepared to close your facilities quickly if another outbreak occurs
System4 Facilities Services Management is an industry leader in commercial cleaning and disinfection services. Our vast network of vetted, experienced service providers is well-prepared ready to support all facility types with their cleaning and disinfection needs.