Create a Business Continuity Plan.
Conduct a focused discussion on your plan. Share it with your employees. Explain HR policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits available to them. This plan helps workplaces map out how to provide essential services if a number of employees are sick or unavailable. Be sure your employees know what is expected of them. Your goal is to:
- Reduce transmission among staff
- Protect people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications
- Maintain business operations, and
- Minimize effects on other entities in your supply chain (vendors).
Ensure sick employees stay home.
Sick employees should not come to work. If employees come to work with symptoms, ask them to go home. Offer paid sick leave so staff do not have to decide between a paycheck and working while sick. Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare providers may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
Prepare staff to work from home.
Equip staff with laptops and supplies needed to work from home. Cancel non-essential business travel, use conference calls and video conferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings when possible.
Increase social distancing in the workplace.
Avoid crowded work settings, cancel business-related face-to-face meetings, space employees farther apart, cancel non-essential travel, promote working from home, and use staggered shifts to have fewer employees in the workplace at the same time.
Offer flexible leave policies.
Staff may need to stay home to care for sick household members or for children if schools are canceled. Make plans for staff to work from home or take leave.
Keep a well-stocked supply of tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes. Place them in easy to access spots.
Encourage employees to keep these items at their desks too. CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other work areas where they are likely to be seen.
Work with your cleaning staff to make sure workspaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently and correctly.
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
In businesses, custodial staff should use disinfectants and sanitizers regularly only in high-risk areas – bathrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, drinking fountains, sink and door handles, shared workstations; preferably, when employees are not present. Follow the disinfectant/sanitizer label directions; overuse does not provide any additional protection and can expose employees to harmful chemicals. Follow the label directions. If disinfecting is targeted against a microbe causing a specific illness (e.g. influenza, Norovirus, COVID-19, etc.) then use an EPA registered disinfectant that is certified as effective against that organism. The Selected EPA – Registered Disinfectants webpage list is located here. >>