COVID-19 & Your Business: Frequent Questions

Our business is still open to the public. What should I do to protect my employees from customers and other members of the public that my employees must interact with in the course and scope of their employment?

The CDC has several recommendations, such as:

  • Increasing physical space between employees and customers
  • Providing customers and employees with tissues and make no-touch disposal receptacles available.
  • Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards between employees and customers.
  • Installing a drive-through window for customer
  • Providing soap and water in the workplace. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Discourage handshaking – encourage the use of other noncontact methods of greeting.
  • Training workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, including in the context of their current and potential duties. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.

Recently the CDC has determined that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.  If feasible, employers should provide employees with cloth face coverings and ask them to wear them, if tolerated.  Likewise, if feasible and available, businesses should consider making cloth face coverings available for customers who must directly interact with their employees.

Last updated April 9

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