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Tips for Essential Businesses

While all non-essential businesses must remain closed due to COVID-19, many businesses are considered essential. These essential businesses must take the necessary preventative measures to maintain the health and safety of employees and patrons. Below are tips for essential businesses to stay safe.

Protect Employee Health

  • Make sure employees have easy access to proper hand washing, sanitation, and cleaning.
  • Employees should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds upon first arriving to work, after using the restroom, before and after eating and frequently throughout the day.
  • Employees should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Conduct daily checks for symptoms of illness and ensure employees stay home when they are sick with fever, coughing, and sneezing.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Transition those who can to work remotely.
  • Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices.

If an employee becomes sick with COVID-19, they should

  • Stay home.
  • Identify co-workers they had prolonged close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more). Notify them that they may have been exposed so that they can watch carefully for symptoms. Close contacts should also stay home for 14 days following their last contact with the person who is sick.

Social Distancing

  • Appoint an employee to ensure that people standing in any lines or meeting in rooms stay 6 feet apart, inside and outside.
  • In areas of high-volume traffic, utilize spacing tools for checks and lines. For example, put tape on the floor to keep people adequately spaced.
  • Put up signs outside your store reminding people in line to be at least 6 feet apart
  • Have a separate order and delivery area/window to keep customers from waiting too long in confined areas together
  • Discourage bringing kids or strollers into stores when possible to allow everyone as much space as possible to safely navigate aisles

Prevent unnecessary contact

  • Prevent people from self-serving any items that are food-related
  • Close any bulk-item food bins
  • Stop allowing people to bring their own bags, mugs or other reusable items from home
  • Have people give a credit card number by phone in advance for food pick-up or at the store in line to avoid swiping cards
  • Have people use contactless pay options with a smart device and have staff input the tip after asking the patron if they want to leave a tip to avoid having people touch the screen. Use a disinfectant wipe on screens between customers
  • Consider installing a clear plastic screen between a cashier and the customer checking out items if it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of distance between them at check out.

Follow environmental cleaning guidelines

  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently.
  • Appoint a designated sanitation worker to frequently clean and sanitize commonly touched surfaces.

Valets

  • Valets should wear gloves and dispose of them after operating each vehicle.
  • Have valets use Personal Protective Equipment to ensure their safety and the safety of their patrons
  • Consider offering self-park for residents who do not feel comfortable using valet services