Communicable Disease

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Communicable Disease

Director: Jennifer Johnson

COVID-19 PREVENTION

RETURNING TO WORK SAFELY: BEST PRACTICES | CURRENT STATUS: PHASE 2

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Skagit County is providing this guide, based on best practices shared by employers in critical industries, to help businesses safely restart. It includes information on social distancing in the workplace, cleaning and personal protection equipment, vendor and customer engagement, employee health, communications, and more.

Throughout the challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health emergency, Skagit County’s goal has been to strike a balance between safeguarding health and protecting Skagit’s economy. Skagit businesses are eager to get back to work. Business operations can and should return to a sustainable level without jeopardizing employee or customer safety as our state opens back up.

Businesses will need to have detailed strategies to protect their workforce from the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations.

Businesses are eager to have access to testing that will help identify individuals who may be sick with the virus. Acceleration of testing availability is critically important to restoring public confidence and reopening our economy.  You can check Skagit County’s public test site information at https://www.skagit county.net/. Even when implementing these best practices, businesses are still subject to the restrictions of current or future executive orders.

The Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County has a Resource Guide for Businesses & Workers at https://www.skagit.org/covid-19-resources-for-businesses-employees.

The starting place for all industries is the comprehensive federal guidance provided by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). WA State Business-Specific Guidance

 

Washington Phases*

PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 PHASE 4
Essential businesses only

Existing Construction

Landscaping

Auto/RV/Boat/ORV sales

Retail – curb-side pickup only

Car washes

Pet walkers
Restaurant/taverns - <50%
capacity, limit 5 per table,
no bar-area seating

+Manufacturing
Construction

In-home/domestic services

Retail – in-store restrictions

Real Estate Professional services/ officebased businesses

Hair & Nail salons/Barbers

Pet grooming

Meetings: no more than 5
people, once per week
Restaurant/taverns - <75%
capacity, limit 10 per table,
bar-area seating <25%
capacity

Movie theaters <50% capacity

Libraries

Museums

Customer-facing
government services

Professional sports without
audience

Recreational facilities <50%
capacity

Meetings: no more than 50
people, limit 10 per table
Nightclubs

Concert venues

Large sporting events

Unrestricted staffing
* Phases subject to change, please check https://coronavirus.wa.gov/


The following suggested guidelines can be replicated as general best practices, applicable to most workplaces.


Personal protection and facilities cleaning, sanitizing

Make information available through training and signage about the following:
Frequent hand washing
Properly covering coughs and sneezes
Refraining from touching the face
Personal Protective Equipment
Disinfection measures
Social distancing protocol
On-site health screening
Signs & symptoms of COVID-19
Self-quarantining and return-to-work policies
Visitors and contractors screening, signage
Time-off options
All other COVID-19-related safe workplace changes.

Clean and sanitize surfaces frequently:
Make wipes, sanitizer and cleaning products widely accessible throughout workplaces.
Clean the break rooms and common touch areas (door-knobs, etc.) after each shift.
Provide masks, shields, gloves, coveralls, etc. if appropriate and available.

Provide touch-free solutions:
Touch-free time clocks.
Individual water containers for workers instead of large water coolers.

Thoroughly clean ALL shared surfaces throughout the facility at least once every 24 hours. This includes common spaces like bathrooms, conference rooms, lunchrooms, etc.

Shut down production in the area where a COVID-19 affected employee worked (i.e. department, line, station) to conduct cleaning, as well as shut down and clean common spaces like bathrooms, conference rooms and lunchrooms once notification of potential COVID-19 spread is suspected.

Vendor engagement Employee and customer communications/instruction/signage Customer Engagement

Request health and travel assessments for vendors/ contractors coming on-site.

Separate contractors and vendors from the workforce (have them use separate bathrooms, entrances if possible).

Prohibit nonessential vendors and deliveries from entering facility.

Require deliveries to be dropped outside facility door, eliminating vendors from entering facility

Post internal signage that can be used to alert or remind employees about guidelines, expectations and responsibilities.

Post external signs on doors alerting visitors to restrictions on entry and movement in and around facility as well as any applicable guidelines and expectations.

Offer curbside delivery instead of in-store pick up.

Provide on-site services to customer’s facility once their business is closed (after hours).

Offer drive-through service only.

Add plastic barriers/shields at registers.

Ask customers to stay in their vehicles in parking lot while they wait.

Offer call-ahead services for parts and service and lock door to walk-in customers.

Conduct virtual sales calls.

Limit the number of customers in the facility to ensure appropriate distancing, along with visual markers on floors for six-foot distancing, per CDC guidance.

Monitoring employee health

Social distancing
Communications/ Education/ Responsibilities

Conduct temperature or employee wellness checks at the start of shifts to ensure employee does not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (fever >100.4 F, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing).

Create a master schedule for all employees that shows when people may come in contact with others; use this for contact tracing in the event of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure.

Create a response plan for employees who report or demonstrate symptoms at work; have recently been at work and tested positive or have been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 case; or have not recently been at work but have tested positive or have been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 case.

Ask employees about their health status before they return to work from a sick leave. If their illness was suspected or confirmed COVID-19 have the employee stay home at least 10 days from when symptoms first began and 72 hours after resolution of fever (without medications) and improving respiratory symptoms.

Offer a variety of leave options for employees who may have to miss work because of a COVID-19-related reason

Travel Policies

Recommend a two-week quarantine
for employees who return from outside
of the country or a domestic COVID-19 hotspot.

Offer work-from home options for all employees who can perform duties remotely.

Change shifts.

Stagger shifts, breaks and lunch schedules to maximize distancing.

Allow 30-minute buffers between shifts if possible so that employees don’t come into contact during transition.

Cross-train teams, so that teams can better stagger shifts.

Provide visual markers on floors for six foot distancing, per CDC guidance.

Offer lunch breaks in vehicles instead of shared cafeterias or break rooms.

Common use equipment should be cleaned frequently.

Restrict movement between departments and/or functions (e.g. don’t allow traffic between production and office workspaces).

Conduct phone/email/virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings, even when at office.

Limit in-person meetings to no more than current guidance, which depends on the phase the State is in; provided appropriate spacing is possible.

Hold meetings in large spaces where people can spread out at six-foot intervals.

Space out desks and work stations; construct temporary walls between workstations.

Communicate and educate employees and management to carry out the plan and protocols, as well as clear direction on roles and responsibilities.

For example:
Provide internal signage to alert co-workers to use another means to contact the person (phone, email, text).

Post signs on door to instruct customers/ visitors on business’s safety protocols.

Provide remote workers with a list of free
resources to stay healthy and active at home (i.e. ergonomic tips, stress-relief tools, fitness resources).

Provide pre-recorded safety training videos for customer-facing activities.

Maintain an up-to-date repository on the company’s shared network that allows employees to access all COVID-19 documents, resources, and company protocol.



COVID-19 Business Questions?

EDASC’s COVID-19 Business Toolkit is updated daily and includes resources to help your business through this crisis. For individual business assistance, email office@Skagit.org

Resources:
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Coronavirus/workplace
https://www.lni.wa.gov/safety-health/safety-topics/topics/coronavirus
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
https://www.skagit.org/covid-19-resources-for-businesses-employees
https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusdriveup.htm