At least twenty states, including, Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, have suspended their plans to reopen amid Covid-19 case spikes, USA Today reports. Businesses elsewhere that are fortunate enough to be able to reopen need to focus on prioritizing the safety of their employees and customers. Although local, state and federal guidelines are continually changing for certain industries, there are a number of practices that are essential to implement for a safe reopening.
Thorough cleaning and disinfection is essential to make sure your premises are free from Covid-19 and safe to reopen. Hiring a reputable and professional cleaning service can help ensure your business follows your local state-mandated cleaning practices. In particular, routine cleaning with soap and water will eliminate germs and dirt from surfaces, and objects and lower the risk of spreading infection. Pay particular attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces like door knobs, handles, keyboards, desks and light switches. If your premises have been empty for over seven days, your cleaning can stop there, as the virus doesn’t survive on surfaces for longer than this. If not, however, follow-up with a disinfectant to kill lingering germs. You may also need to move or get rid of soft and porous materials (including rugs and chairs), which are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Behavioral changes play a key role in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Make sure you implement these recommended procedures in your workplace. In particular, employees should practice social distancing (which requires keeping a distance of 6 feet away when they enter shared spaces). The CDC also advises regular hand washing — ideally with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You may need to stock up on cleaning products and sanitizers and make them available for employees to use. However, it’s important not to stockpile these products, as doing so can cause shortages. Employees should also be encouraged to avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes. You may also want to provide employees with face masks to wear (however, people with physical or mental illnesses or disabilities may not be able to wear a mask). Certain industries are already required to use standardized PPE like N95 masks by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
A number of essential workers already have their temperature taken before entering their workplaces, and this is soon expected to be a standard requirement for a number of different businesses upon reopening. Whether you decide to implement temperature checks or are legally required to, it’s a good idea to designate this task to one sole person (like a manager). Additionally, you may want to implement “symptom surveys” for employees to complete before entering the building. Sick employees should always stay at home and not come into work.
If you’re planning to reopen your business, it’s essential to follow federal and state guidelines. Implementing best practices and responsible habits in your workplace will keep employees and customers safe and reduce the spread of Covid-19.