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Employer Guide to COVID-19

What to think about when developing a plan

  • Masks and PPE requirements

  • Employee and visitor protocol

  • Capacity limits on all rooms

  • Shift changes for employees

  • Employee Education

  • Infection protocol 

  • Industry norms

Don't Forget

  • Establish customer and visitor guidelines and inform them before arrival 

  • Add signage to make policies clear

  • Get employee feedback and input

  • Comply with local regulations before reopening 


Make a plan and get employee feedback. Be sure you have employee and customer buy-in. Let customers and employees know that operations may change. Identify which employees are comfortable with adapting to change. You may need to create new employee roles for safety reasons.

Create a checklist

How will your craft 6-foot policies into your business? When will you clean your business, and how frequent? Should you be using masks or face shields? Come up with a plan to manage high-risk individuals. Make your plan easy to understand.

Keep Your Distance

Each business is unique and building designs are not all the same. Every employer will need to figure out what may work in the workplace. Employers should consider restructuring the break room and lunch room to accommodate 6 feet of distance. Remind employees and customers of the 6 foot requirement and enforce policies. When individuals cannot be 6 feet apart, consider using face shields. Incorporate physical barriers between customers and staff. Consider using teleconference software over in-person meetings. If you must have in-person meetings, you should limit the capacity of the room. Employers may find it easier to abide by social distancing guidelines if employee shifts are staggered.

Cleaning Supplies

Make cleaning a priority

Daily cleaning of the facility and workspace should be a priority. Before reopening, do a deep clean of the facility, then try to keep it that way. Clean high-touch areas frequently such as door handles, light switches, and stair rails. Do not permit employees to share equipment or tools to reduce infection. Provide your employees with the tools necessary to clean their own workspace and ample soap or hand sanitizer. Consider modifying work hours to allow for cleaning. 

Surgical Mask

Mask Tips

  1. Wash your hands before and after wearing a mask

  2. Cover the face fully so there are no gaps

  3. Once secure do not touch the mask or adjust the mask

  4. Take off the mask using the loops, do not touch your face or the mask

  5. Fold the mask in half

  6. Place the mask in a container or trash 

  7. Wash your hands after removing the mask

  8. If a reusable mask, use hot water and detergent to clean

Rubber Gloves

Glove Removal Tips

  1. Grab the outside of one glove at the wrist

  2. Peel away from the body, inside out

  3. Hold the removed glove in the gloved hand

  4. Peel off the second glove by putting fingers inside the glove near the top of the wrist

  5. Turn inside out, pulling away from the body, with the first glove inside the second

  6. Dispose of gloves properly

  7. Wash your hands

Resuming Business

When employees begin to return to work it is imperative to reiterate the company policies pertaining to infectious disease. Show your employees you are serious about their health. Incorporate symptom checking. Explain to employees person hygiene requirements and the necessity of hand washing. Communicate cleaning responsibilities to employees. Importantly, communicate to your employees your sick leave policy if an employee becomes sick with COVID-19 Depending on the size and type of business, having medical advice may be necessary.

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Muscle Pain

  • Sore Throat

  • Loss of taste or smell

Hand Washing

Encourage employees to frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. Encourage employees to wash their hands after touching any high-touch service, handling food, or using the bathroom. Provide hand sanitizer throughout the workplace.


Be prepared to communicate frequently with your employees about changes in the workplace, dealing with stress, or fear of returning to work. Be flexible, your employees will appreciate your flexibility. Allow your employees time to adjust to the new reality.

High-risk Employees

Take extreme care with high-risk employees. High-risk employees may need more flexible work schedules or other accommodations. Many employees may also have family members who are at high-risk.

Risk Factors:

  • Diabetes

  • Asthma

  • COPD

  • Autoimmune diseases 

  • Obesity

  • Age

  • Smoking

  • Chronic health conditions

COVID-19 & Symptomatic Employees

COVID-19 is new, and healthcare professionals are still learning about the disease. Be sure to communicate regularly with healthcare professionals to be updated on the virus. People may spread the disease without showing any symptoms. Encourage your employees to stay home if they feel ill. If an employee is experiencing symptoms you should send them home. Strictly follow and pay attention to updates from your local department of health. You should communicate to your employees exposure risk in a confidential manner. Establish a return-to-work policy for when an employee recovers from COVID-19. Maintain a log of employees that have been ill and have tested positive to COVID-19. When an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, determine if any other employees or customers have been exposed.

Doctor Taking Notes
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