As a small business owner, you should plan, prepare, and respond to help decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus in your workplace. For those small business owners who remain open during this crisis, the CDC recently published the following office protective measures.
- Place posters that encourage appropriate coughing techniques and proper handwashing hygiene for employees, customers, and visitors.
- Make sure that the workers, staff, and visitors have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water.
- Promote frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In addition, provide hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available. Consider placing hand sanitizers and dispensers in multiple locations and common areas to encourage hand hygiene around the workplace.
- Actively encourage workers to stay at home if they are sick.
- If feasible, promote remote working and adopt flexible working hours to encourage social distancing and to minimize crowding the workplace. Remote working will help your business keep operating while your employees stay safe.
- Check body temperature when entering the office buildings. Avoid crowded elevators.
- Avoid large scale meetings and reduce face-to-face contact among co-workers. Consider replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications and implementing telework if feasible.
- Establish alternate days or extra shifts to reduce the total number of employees in a facility at any given time. Similarly, arrange flexible meal hours and avoid meal gatherings.
- Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workspace such as workstations, keyboards, handrails, and doorknobs.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean the area with detergents. Preferably, use EPA-registered household disinfectants that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
- Ensure that the housekeeping staff wears gloves to clean and disinfect. Provide disposable alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol, so employees can wipe commonly used surfaces and electronics such as tablets, touchscreens, and keyboards before each use.
- Develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff prior to assigning cleaning tasks. Training should include the correct use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to help prevent exposure.
If Employees Show Symptoms of COVID19
- Most importantly, isolate the employee from other employees and customers. Cover the mouth and nose of the symptomatic employee to limit the generation of respiratory droplets.
- Self-isolate the employee, or if they are ill, work with a medical team to determine if they need hospital care.
- Notify other employees immediately and ensure they follow appropriate steps to isolate away from symptomatic employees.
These simple precautions and a proactive response will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect your employees and your business. For more COVID-19 updates and resources for small businesses, check out Analytix’s COVID-19 Resource Center