When it comes time to reopen your business, you want to do it right – or you may need to quickly shut down again. Taking steps to keep your employees healthy and your customers content and safe because you are doing the right thing for them will help them to have greater confidence in you. A lack of following the guidelines is apt to cause employees to quit – and word will get out.
Each Workplace Is Different
Every business facility is going to be a little different and the work and proximity of people in your business will also vary. This means business owners need to conduct an evaluation of their business and determine how to best keep employees and customers healthy. Many retail and grocery stores have added plastic barriers between the customers and the cashiers. Others prevent customers from moving to within six feet of the cashier or counter personnel.
Masks and Other PPE Are Essential
Nearly every set of guidelines will include the wearing of masks. A mask will usually work two ways – it will reduce the likelihood of breathing in the virus, and, if someone has the virus and wears a mask, it will help to prevent spreading it. Many scientists believe that the virus is contagious while it is airborne, meaning that it can be spread simply by breathing in the air from a contaminated person. Other forms of PPE are also essential to help prevent infection. In some cases, face shields may be better. Gloves are just as important.
Check Temperatures Daily
Digital thermometers that are also non-touch are key to protecting your people and customers from coronavirus. Unfortunately, it will not be able to detect everyone that is infected because some people with the virus do not show any symptoms. Many people, however, will have some symptoms such as a slightly elevated temperature. If an employee or customer enters your business, the CDC advises you to shut down the area immediately and wait at least 24 hours to permit moisture droplets to drop to the floor. Then sanitize the area completely while wearing the appropriate PPE.
Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home
Keeping sick employees away from the workplace is very important and can prevent an outbreak in your business. They need to be reminded that if they feel sick that they should call in, explain their symptoms, and then stay home and get tested.
Understand New Symptoms
Now and then, the CDC adds a couple of new symptoms to the list. As more is learned about COVID-19, more symptoms are noted that indicate its presence. Employees are not apt to stay on top of it, so employers should. Some symptoms that have just been added this week include new confusion (mental fogginess), an inability to stay awake or to wake, and persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
Expect and Prepare for a Second Shutdown
The more cases that occur daily in the U.S., the more likely it is that a second shutdown will occur. There were over 60,000 new cases today and some areas have already shut down some businesses. Be prepared for it and communicate with your employees often about what is happening.
Expect Different Countries to Have Different Rules
If you have businesses in other countries, do not assume that their guidelines are similar to those of the CDC in the U.S. or to the World Health Organization (WHO). Instead, you will likely find some rules that are different. There may also be fines or even imprisonment in some countries if those rules are not followed. Be sure to understand those rules before opening your business again.