Preparing to reopen
As you prepare to reopen, start by consulting official CDC guidance as well as state, county, and city government communications to determine when it is legal and officially advisable to reopen. Reopening guidelines may vary based on the community you live in and the type of business that you operate. Make sure to review official guidelines carefully to understand reopening requirements and safeguards for your location and type of business.
Below you will find a selection of additional considerations to help you think through preparations for your business. The considerations are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive and should not be used as a substitute for official reopening guidelines.
For full illustrated documentation, please visit: Reopening workplaces amid COVID-19.
Health and safety
- Refer to CDC guidelines for businesses and workplaces for federal health and safety recommendations.
Have the necessary cleaning instructions and operations in place (see the Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes).
Increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces and spaces (eg, bathrooms)
Reducing operating hours to accommodate additional cleaning
Encouraging frequent and staggered sanitization breaks for all employees
Emphasizing high-frequency, high-visibility cleaning
Alternating and rotate lanes for cash registers to reduce congestion and allow for extra cleaning
Providing disinfectants as well as dis-infected bags, carts, and trolleys at entry
- Inform employees on public health guidance.
Completing periodic health-risk categorization through at-home surveys
Training employees on what to expect when returning to the workplace
Establishing two-way communication channels as employees prepare for return
- Check that employees are comfortable with returning to work.
Use of masks required during employee commutes
Contactless temperature checks prior to entry
Staggered entry and work shifts
Masks required and provided for employees
Issuing clear guidance on sick leave, compensation and related policies
- Continuously evaluate, update and improve safety measures.
Rethink the physical space
- Set up proper safety signage inside and outside the business to give guidance to customers.
Promoting healthy personal habits with high-visibility signage and media campaigns
Highlighting new workplace-safety processes and policies on prominent displays
Clear posters on safety guidance and sickness protocols
- Reduce the number of physical touchpoints to the extent possible.
Reorganizing seating and limiting headcount around one area
Adopting “remote-first” culture of video conferencing even when in the office
Limit sharing and disinfect PPE at regular intervals
Ensuring physical separation between customers
Removing or replacing high-touch communal resources
Installing plexiglass barriers between employees and customers
Migrating entirely to contactless payment
Implementing curbside pickups, or define safety protocols for delivery workers and drivers
Altering return and cancellation policies
- Consider adjusting physical layout to enable sufficient space for customers and employees to move around.
Improved air filtration and ventilation
Implementing one-way store aisles with fewer sales specialists
- Manage foot traffic of customers.
Increasing controls at entry point
Limiting on-site capacity
Dedicating hours or spaces for vulnerable populations
- In addition to referencing CDC and official state guidance, consider working with other organizations and businesses in your area that are facing similar challenges to find cooperative solutions.
- Let customers know that your business is reopening (be clear about days and times that you’re open if they differ from your hours before the COVID-19 crisis).
- Promote your hygiene and sanitation measures.
- Email announcements and post on social media.
- Place clear and visible signage on your storefront.
- Use word of mouth in your community.
Prepare for post-infection
- Have a plan in place to properly disinfect facilities if an infection occurs.
Setting up clear measures to detect a COVID-19 positive case
Having clear contact-tracing measures to track and identify individuals and facilities exposed to potential risk
Communicate with employees who may have had contact with a COVID-19 positive patient
Shut down facilities that have been exposed to COVID-19 for deep cleaning
Establishing isolation and quarantine policies post-detection of an infected patient
Creating clear policy for returning to facilities
- Understand legal, liability, privacy, and cybersecurity requirements for testing.
For more information about the source, please visit COVID Response Center