Coronavirus: Best Practices for your business, restaurant, delivery service, etc.

Coronavirus: Best Practices for your business, restaurant, delivery service, etc.

If you are a business owner looking for guidance to project your employees, your customers yourself and your business itself from this of coronavirus (both the health risk and the business liabilities) the resources on this page and those linked to below will be helpful. This page discusses protecting employees and screening processes

Screening, Preventing and Reducing Coronavirus Transmission Among Employees

Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19 regulations, guidance, and recommendations and ensure that workers have access to that information. Frequently check the CDC COVID-19 website.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home

Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g., symptom and temperature screening) of employees before they enter the facility, in accordance with state and local public health authorities and, if available, your occupational health services. Screening and health checks are not a replacement for other protective measures such as social distancing, mask wearing (unless respirators or facemasks are required), and engineering controls, including proper ventilation. Symptom and temperature screening cannot identify people with SARS-CoV-2 infection who are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms) or are presymptomatic (have not developed signs or symptoms yet but will later).

For virtual health checks, encourage individuals to self-screen prior to coming onsite. An electronic monitoring system could be implemented in which, prior to arrival at the facility, employees report absence of fever and symptoms of COVID-19, absence of a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 10 days, confirm they have not been exposed to others with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the prior 14 days, and confirm they are not undergoing evaluation for SARS-CoV-2 infection such as pending viral test (nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test).

For in-person health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully and in a way that maintains social distancing of workers in and entering the screening area. Workers should not enter the worksite past the screening area if any of the following are present:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (oF) or higher or report feeling feverish
  • Undergoing evaluation for SARS-CoV-2 infection (such as pending viral test)
  • Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 10 days
  • Close contact to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the prior 14 days

Follow guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding confidentiality of medical records from health checks. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, make employee health screenings as private as possible. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiality of each individual's medical status and history.

Ensure personnel performing in-person screening activities are appropriately protected against exposure to potentially infectious workers entering the facility. Methods known to reduce risk of transmission include social distancing, physical barriers, and mask wearing. If social distance or barrier controls cannot be implemented during screening, personal protective equipment (PPE) can be used when the screener is within 6 feet of an employee. However, reliance on PPE alone is a less effective control and may be more difficult to implement given PPE shortages and training requirements. Ensure screeners are trained on proper use and reading of thermometers per manufacturer standards; improper calibration and use can lead to incorrect temperature readings.

Separate sick employees

  • Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors, and sent home.
  • Have a procedure in place for the safe transport of an employee who becomes sick while at work. The employee may need to be transported home or to a healthcare provider.

Take action if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility. If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee has been in the facility, close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:

  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.

If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection are not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.

Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
  • To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Always wear gloves and gowns appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation when using cleaning and disinfection products to prevent from inhaling toxic vapors.
  • You may need to wear additional PPE depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using. For each product you use, consult and follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.

Determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions:

Educate employees about steps they can take to protect themselves at work and at home

  • Encourage employees to follow any new policies or procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, and work meetings and travel.
  • Advise employees to:
    • Stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care, and to learn what to do if they are sick.
    • Inform their supervisor if they have a sick household member at home with COVID-19 and to learn what to do if someone in their home is sick.
    • Wear a mask when out in public and when around people who do not live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Inform employees that if their hands are visibly dirty, they should use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer. Key times for employees to clean their hands include:
      • Before and after work shifts
      • Before and after work breaks
      • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
    • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Learn more about coughing and sneezing etiquette on the CDC website.
    • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA's criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
    • Avoid using other employees' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.
    • Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.

For employees who commute to work using public transportation or ride sharing, consider offering the following support

  • If feasible, offer employees incentives to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving or riding by car either alone or with household members).
  • Ask employees to follow the CDC guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation.
  • Allow employees to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.
  • Ask employees to clean their hands as soon as possible after their trip.

Resources for more information:

Other Federal Agencies


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