Despite the continued vaccine rollout and a steady decrease in daily cases of Covid-19, it’s still important for business owners to make your workplace safe for staff and guests alike. It only takes one active case to cause a cluster. Today, we discuss the latest business reopening guidelines for Palo Alto and how to keep your workplace a healthy place to be.
California business reopens with new rules
California plans to align its guidance with federal recommendations on June 15th, 2021. This means that maximum capacity limitations indoors and social distancing restrictions will soon become a distant memory.
Masks in indoor public areas will still be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Business owners should regularly refer to the latest California Department of Public Health masking guidance as these guidelines will continue to change.
In addition to these, Santa Clara County has also provided industry-specific rules for business reopening in Palo Alto designed to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19.
Best practices for business reopening
Regardless of your industry, there are many practical steps you can take to safely reopen and operate your business in the ‘New Normal’.
Educate your staff
Even though rates of Covid-19 are decreasing around the country, it’s important that you educate your employees about how the virus spreads from person to person. This gives them the tools to know when to self-isolate, how to sanitize their workspace, and what to do if they’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case.
It’s especially important to train employees on the symptoms of Covid-19, as they often overlap with the flu.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include:
- Body and muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose and/or congestion
- Loss of taste, loss of smell
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
It’s especially important to remind your employees to stay home and get tested for Covid-19 if they are showing symptoms or have recently been exposed to someone with a confirmed case.
Prepare a workplace health and safety plan
A workplace health and safety plan is a template that helps you respond to Covid-related situations.
This plan may include…
- Plans to keep your business open in the event of an outbreak.
- New, non-punitive leave policies for employees that must self-isolate.
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, and additional hygiene supplies to staff and customers.
- A risk assessment plan that identifies where the highest risk areas in the workplace might be (eg. at the sales counter, in a poorly ventilated area, etc,.) and steps to counteract these issues.
- Special accommodations for employees in a vulnerable group, such as pregnant women, individuals with preexisting conditions, or seniors.
- New sanitization protocols – both throughout the workday and after hours.
Improve the airflow in your workplace
Covid-19 primarily spreads through the air, so taking steps to make sure the air in your workplace isn’t stagnant can decrease the chance of transmission.
- Open your business’ windows or doors where possible to encourage airflow
- Have your HVAC system upgraded and/or cleaned
- Install MERV-13 air filtration systems if possible
- Provide outdoor seating where possible
- If using stand-alone fans, point them towards open windows where possible instead of blowing on to other employees
Until further guidance, it is still required that vaccinated and unvaccinated people must wear a mask in indoor public areas. Encourage your employees to bring their own, but be sure to provide masks in case staff or a customer forgets theirs.
Provide onsite Covid-19 tests for your staff
Regular Covid-19 tests at your workplace can identify an active case of the virus before it has had the chance to spread among employees, whether or not they show symptoms. You can quickly isolate affected staff members and prevent a cluster of cases.
Onsite testing has several advantages over-relying on your staff to get tested on their own time.
- You don’t have to deal with the hassle of DIY tests for your workplace
- You can easily keep track of who has or hasn’t been tested
- Tests can identify fever-less or asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 that temperature checks at the door will not catch
- Medical services can administer rapid tests that provide results in 30 minutes or less
- The administering nurses can provide medical guidance if someone does test positive
Onsite Covid-19 Testing For Your Business Reopening In Palo Alto
Drip Hydration can help keep your workplace a safe and healthy place for your staff and customers with onsite Covid-19 testing. Our nurse (or nurses, depending on how many people need to get tested) will come to your workplace, administer the tests, and provide advice if someone tests positive.
We’re excited to develop a custom testing plan for you that helps your business stay Covid-free in the ‘new normal’. Give us a call or book a consultation using the button below.