Money & Career
Open for Business! How to Stay Safe when Returning to the Workplace
6/1/2020 10:09:46 AM
Open for Business

After over two months of stay-at-home orders, businesses are slowing putting the Open signs back in their windows. This is great news for our tattered economy. But as there is still potential for COVID-19 cases, as a community we want to be safe and proceed with caution. Follow these guidelines provided by the SWLA Economic Development Alliance for successfully heading back to the workplace.

For all types of businesses:

Workers and guests should maintain a minimum distance of six feet. 

Masks should be worn when interacting with customers or co-workers.

Wash hands thoroughly and often and use hand sanitizer.

Wear gloves if you are handling items for the public. Change them often to prevent cross contamination.

Keep workspaces clean and disinfected, especially in high-traffic areas.

Explore Touch-Free Checkout options, if applicable.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

If you don’t feel well, go home.

Consider being tested to ensure you are COVID-19 free before returning to work.

Consider taking your temperature before you go to work each day.

Know your employer’s policies on workplace safety and sick leave.

Create a plan on what to do in case of another outbreak


Create a 10-foot buffer between tables and limit party size to no more than 10 people.

Limit number of customers to 25% occupancy.

Clean tables, chairs, table condiments, etc. between each seating.

Clean reusable menus after each use or switch to one-time-use disposable paper menus.

Continue to offer delivery and curbside service.

Display signs at entrances to remind guests to keep physically distant.

Discontinue self-serve bars/salad stations, cut lemons, and unwrapped utensils and straws.


Continue to offer delivery, shipping, and curbside service.

Incorporate special shopping hours for at-risk individuals.

Limit number of shoppers based on space.

Discontinue samples and self-serve bars.

Fitting rooms should be limited or closed

For stores that allow for reusable bags, ask guests to load their own reusable bags to minimize cross contamination.

Consider plexiglass screens to keep cashiers and guests safe.

Add floor markers to indicate how far apart guests should be at the point-of-sale.

At the warehouse: 

Clean/wipe-down delivery, including pallet jacks, ladders, and supply carts between uses. 

Explore contactless signatures for deliveries. 

Spread out delivery times to prevent overcrowding. 

Ask that all vendors wear PPE.

In an Office Setting:

Limit outside visitors whenever possible.

Suspend business travel whenever possible.

Encourage digital meetings.

Allow workers to continue working from home whenever possible.

Create work zones for each worker. If they have their own offices, no one should enter past their doorways. If workers are in an open area, consider marking out work spaces that allow for safe working conditions.

Use tools (like a pencil) to push buttons like elevator doors, etc.

Only one person at a time in bathrooms and common rooms like breakrooms, kitchens, copy rooms.

Discourage in-person office visits and encourage communication such as email, calls, and instant messaging.

Create a cleaning schedule of what should be cleaned, how often and by whom.

For all businesses, employers should give special consideration to high-risk 

employees (those over age 65 or who have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, a compromised immune system, etc.)

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