Many states and cities are strictly regulating the earliest date to reopen. It’s important to consider the following when deciding if you’re ready to reopen:
Make sure that you have ample supply of the following before you consider reopening. We’re seeing shortages of hand soap, sanitizers, and all sorts of PPE. Be sure you have the equipment you need to protect your employees and patrons before you open.
If taking employee (or guest) temperatures:
Be sure that each location checks their local county and state guidelines. Many states are requiring daily wellness checks. Some are requiring temperature checks, 50% capacity reductions, closing multiple times per shift for full cleaning and sanitizing. There’s no easy way to track all of the requirements on a national level, and they’re changing rapidly. Some city mayors are requiring different guidelines than county health departments, which are different from the state governor’s guidelines. Make sure each location manager is aware of their specific regulations before they make the call to open.
Once you’ve made the call to reopen, you’ll want to do one big cleaning and sanitizing. Again, be sure to an EPA-approved sanitizer to kill Coronavirus. This should be extremely thorough, and sure to hit the high touch areas - doors, handles, bathrooms, counters, POS systems, etc.
This is also a great time to make a sanitizing checklist for each specific location you have. Is there a weird cubbyhole at Store #235? Add that to the checklist so it gets wiped down! Does Location #4 have a plexiglass divider to keep cashiers from getting sneezed on? Add it to the list so it gets regularly sanitized.
Need more tips cleaning and sanitizing? Zedic has full checklists for your team to use in our app - check it out at getzedic.com.
You should be doing daily employee wellness checks. Either prepare and print a large quantity of paper symptom surveys (but be sure to keep them confidential and organized), or reach out to Zedic to discuss an electronic employee wellness check option, for a low cost ranging from $0.05-$0.25 per employee per day.
Whether you’re using paper or electronic versions, remember to ask employees to fill them out before they come in for shift, and be sure to treat them as confidential employee health records.
Remember that if you turn an employee away because they have symptoms, you should do so discreetly to protect their privacy.
Some jurisdictions are requiring employee temperature checks.
Best Option: Employees take their own temperature
The CDC has stated that it’s acceptable to ask employees to check their own temperatures and show or report that to a manager when they come in, which is our recommended option if it’s compliant in your area. It’s more sanitary and requires much less contact. You must verify that your jurisdiction allows this, though. Managers should still record temperatures, wear PPE, and ideally be separated from employees by a physical barrier.
Next Best Option: Manager takes temps with physical barrier and PPE
If that’s not possible for whatever reason, the CDC’s recommendation is to create some sort of physical barrier that protects the manager taking temperatures from the largest airborne droplets, like those from a sneeze or cough. A plexiglass barrier at head-height, for example, would fit the bill. Managers should use disinfecting wipes on the thermometer between each employee, change gloves between each employee, and wear a mask (ideally disposed of between each shift). If a physical barrier isn’t possible, eye protections like lab goggles or a face shield should be required.
Remember that employee privacy still matters, so be sure to have a setup where you can discreetly send employees who report symptoms or have a temperature home. And again, remember to treat employee temperature as the confidential employee health record that it is.
The Zedic app includes Employer Temperature Check procedures and templates for storing temperature records, so that you have everything you need to get started in the safest way possible.
In most cases, all employees should wear a face covering. This should not be a medical-grade N-95 (those are still being reserved for healthcare workers). Employees may bring or make their own, or you should provide one for them.
Disposable face masks should be switched out between shifts and discarded when worn out or soiled.
Cloth face coverings should be washed between each shift on the hottest possible temperature settings.
Many employees (taking temperatures, handling prepared food, cashiers touching customer credit cards) should have disposable gloves.
This is still your best defense. Assign a handwashing captain to ensure handwashing is done every 30 minutes. Take extra handwashing into account when you build your schedule. Make hand hygiene the number one focus.
Of course, continue to exclude any employees who are sick, or exposed. Be sure to explain that employees should stay out if a family member is sick, if they or a family member is tested and awaiting results, or if they had close contact with anyone who has symptoms.
Remember, the same employee may be exposed more than once, which means they may be out for 14 day quarantines more than once. It isn’t fun, but it’s true.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep employees out.
With Zedic, we share any updates to the CDC’s exclusion guidelines through alerts in our app, and you can chat with one of our experts when you’re not sure how long to exclude an employee. Be sure to check CDC and local guidelines regularly, as these change quickly.
Have a plan for keeping employees at least 6 feet from each other, and from guests, wherever possible. It’s also helpful to try to limit the number of others that any one employee comes into contact with - that way if they get sick, you’ll only need to exclude a few other staff members.
Limit Employee Interaction with Each Other
Minimizing the number of coworkers that any one employee interacts with allows you to reduce the risk that you’ll have to exclude large swaths of your employee pool if any one employee becomes sick. Here are a few strategies for doing that:
Limit Employee Interaction with Customers
This might include:
Social Distancing for Customers
This might include:
Some state and local guidelines are calling for businesses to actually conduct wellness checks and even temperature checks on guests. This will be tricky. Here’s what to consider: