Re-opening New York State from COVID Pause - Phase II
On Friday May 29, 2020 during his 1:00 P.M. press conference, Governor Cuomo announced that Phase II of the New York Re-opening will begin in some regions, including our Finger Lakes Region.
Adding to the essential and Phase I businesses already partially or fully open, additional businesses that will be permitted to operate more freely than before include:
Phase II retail
Vehicle sales, leasing and rental
Retail rental, repair and cleaning
Commercial building management
Hair salons and barbershops
Specific Guidance for each industry can be found here.
As before, all NY employers must prepare a Business Re-opening Safety Plan (a template for which can be found through the link above).
The Business Re-opening Safety Plan need not be filed with any Government Agency, but must be available for review upon request and a Business Affirmation that the relevant Guidance has been reviewed must be executed and submitted electronically as also described through the link above.
The Business Re-opening Safety Plan must identify the relevant industry, contain business Owner/Manager and/or an HR Representative's contact information and address four categories:
Places-Protective Equipment/Hygiene and Cleaning/Communication
Process-Screening/Contact Tracing and Disinfection of Contaminated Areas
Other business-specific issues
Six feet of separation is still the benchmark with face coverings to be worn if closer. Face coverings are to be provided by employers if employees do not have thier own.
Additional barriers between employees such as interior walls, partition and plastic shields are recommended. Daily cleaning protocols are required. Daily screening is required, but that screening does not have to include temperature-taking or COVID-testing. A process to assist in contact tracing/contaminated area cleaning required.
OFFICE-BASED WORK GUIDELINES
We will cover the office industry in depth here; other industry guidances are similar but have some key differences. Guidelines are to apply to all business activities in offices newly opening or opened before as essential.
Professional service, nonprofit, technology, administrative support, and higher education administration (excluding full campus re-opening) offices are included. These guidelines also apply to the office portions of employers who operate part of their business functions under different guidelines (ex. construction company front office).
OFFICE-BASED WORK GUIDELINES MANDATORY PHASE II PROVISIONS
Occupancy is never to exceed 50% of the maximum permitted under the certificate of occupancy
There is to be 6 foot distancing, unless safety of the core activity requires a shorter distance
Face coverings are to be worn if 6 foot distancing is not maintained at any time.
The business is to post social distancing markers
Limit meetings to those with an essential status only and with 6 foot distancing.
Shared workstations are to cleaned between users
Reduce interpersonal contact through adjusted hours/staggered shift times.
Keep non-essential common areas closed
Provide workers with face coverings at no cost
Face coverings may be homemade sewn, quick cut, a bandana, a surgical mask or face shield
Clean, replace and prohibit sharing of face coverings
Train workers on use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Require face coverings in common areas
Limit sharing of any objects in workplace
HYGIENE AND CLEANING
Adhere to CDC and NYSDOH requirements and keep a log of same
Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations
Provide and encourage use of cleaning/disinfection supplies
Ensure equipment is regularly cleaned and disinfected
Cleaning and disinfecting of the office location, shared services and other areas
More frequently clean and disinfect high risk areas
Cleaning and disinfecting at least after each shift or more frequently
Specific targeted cleaning and disinfecting in the case of an employee having a positive COVID test
Prohibit shared food and beverages
Affirm review of guidelines and that they will be implemented
Post signage inside and outside of office location
Train all personnel on new protocols
Establish a communication plan
Provide the building manager a list of essential visitors expected
Maintain a continuous log of every person who may have close contact with other individuals at the worksite
If a worker or visitor tests positive for COVID, notify state and local health departments and cooperate with applicable contact tracing, while also maintaining confidentiality to extent required by state and federal law
Post safety plan onsite
Sick workers should stay home, or go home if already at work
Implement mandatory daily health screening assessment (temperature-taking, COVID-testing each optional) as to symptoms, testing and/or contact with a person who has COVID
Coordinate with the building manager as to screening
Train on-site screeners as to CDC, DOH and OSHA guidelines, and be sure they wear a face covering
Identify a point of contact for workers and visitors
Have a plan to handle a positive case as to cleaning, disinfecting, contact tracing
OFFICE-BASED WORK GUIDELINES PHASE II RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES
Reconfigure workstations and office areas
Implement clean desk policies
Limit use of shared workstations where feasible
Leverage technology to assist in proper office space utilization
Use 6 foot circles around workstations and common work areas
Reduce bi-directional foot traffic
Limit on-site interactions and movements
Add desks to spaces previously used for meetings
Close non-essential communal areas
Stagger worker schedules
Consider limiting non-essential travel
Maintain adequate supply of face coverings and other PPE
HYGIENE AND CLEANING
Avoid use of furniture that isn't easily cleaned or disinfected
Increase ventilation of outdoor air into the building where safely possible
Develop webpages, text and email groups and social media campaigns to provide information to workers, customers and visitors
Work with building management on building-wide communications
Post signage inside and outside the building regarding the safety plan
Prevent workers from close contact prior to screening
Daily temperature checks are optional
Keep a log of every person who may have close contact with other individual to assist with possible contact tracing
Screen individuals at or near the entrance
Coordinate with building management as to remote screening, if any
Consider use of a secondary screening site for possible symptomatic individuals
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here or call us at 585.258.2800.
You can view more COVID-19-related posts in our COVID-19 Resource Area here.