So, your state has decided to reopen. As a small business owner, you need to know what regulations are in place and how to protect yourself, your employees and your customers. We’re going to go through the guidelines currently in place in your state and how to get started. Check with your local government to make sure you are meeting current local safety standards.
First, let’s go over general CDC recommendations.
The CDC suggests that you appoint a workplace coordinator to handle all COVID-19 related issues. Depending on the size of your operation, this may or may not be necessary.
- Examine policies in place for leave, telework and compensation and adjust them as needed for COVID-19.
- Employees should be allowed and encouraged to stay home if they have any symptoms and leave policies should consider those who need to take care of sick relatives or have children at home for whom they are the primary caregiver.
- If it is possible, continue or implement telework options and stagger worker shifts. Policies and protocol should encourage social distancing.
- Implement a thorough and regular cleaning/disinfectant plan using EPA approved disinfectants.
- Provide and/or require PPE for personnel. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces routinely.
- Encourage or require customers to follow social distancing protocol.
For more information about CDC reopening guidelines for small businesses, click here.
For more information about CDC cleaning guidelines for small businesses, click here.
In addition to CDC recommendations, Wisconsin has specific recommendations and mandates as well that it is important to follow.
Wisconsin was thrown into chaos by the State’s Supreme Court and its sudden reversal of the statewide stay-at-home mandate. Many businesses immediately opened their doors. Pictures and videos show bars packed full of patrons. But other parts of the state imposed their own local stay at home mandates and businesses are looking for guidance on how to safely reopen. Before the stay-at-home order was overturned, Governor Tony Evers had released reopening guidelines that would have been phased in and which businesses would have had time to implement. Our advice will be based on those recommended guidelines, but you should also check in with your local government to find specific guidelines for your area.
- High risk groups should still stay home if possible.
- Continue to use telework where possible. Meetings should be teleconferenced or in a well-ventilated space when that is not possible. Limit business related travel for essential circumstances.
- Provide PPE and train employees to properly use it.
- Train employees in proper social distancing protocol and keep them updated on your policies.
- Have cleaning and sanitizing supplies on hand for disinfecting workplaces.
- Encourage social distancing. Allow workers to be at least 6 ft apart from each other.
- Screening employees with temperature checks is encouraged for some business sectors. Follow CDC guidelines here.
- Before opening, clean and disinfect all areas. Change air filters in your HVAC following manufacturer guidelines. After opening, continue to disinfect common areas and frequently used areas.
- Have leave policies that consider employees that may need to take care of a sick family member or child that has to stay home.
- Do not allow symptomatic people to work. If your employee has COVID-19, notify your local health department. Close off area used by the sick person. After 24 hours, disinfect the area using EPA approved products. Inform other employees and any workers who had contact with them.
For more information, read the WEDC’s General Guidelines for reopening here.
For industry specific guidelines, look here.
Read more about Wisconsin’s Supreme Court’s decision to rescind the stay at home order here.
Yours in Strength,
The Take Back Control Team