Covid-19: Transitioning Back to Business as Usual

As steps to re-open the State begin and a wider range of services are being allowed, we are beginning the transition back to “business as usual”. Here are a few “best practices” to keep in mind as you begin to navigate the transition process in the wake of COVID-19. Develop a Plan Utilizing guidance available to you from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), federal, state and local governments; developing a plan on how to respond to situations of this nature will be an asset moving forward. A written guide will help answer your employees’ questions, provides for standardized policies and helps create a smooth transition operationally.

Here are a few items to consider when putting a plan together:
• Create a primary contact – designate one individual to be the point person for communicating policy and procedures as well as being the point of contact for the media.
• Policies and Procedures – create policies and procedures that are clear and detailed, outlining the steps that will be implemented.
• Meetings – outline the procedure for holding necessary or required meetings, including meeting virtually and
how you will notify the public of the meetings.
• Educate your staff – educate employees on how to protect themselves and others while at home and at work. Continue to Social Distance It is important to remember that until we have returned to “business as usual,” social distancing is still an integral tool in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Here are a few tips for social distancing in the office:
• Separating workstations – try to maintain 6 feet between workstations and do not share workspaces, phones,
or computers.
• Keep meetings small – limit the number of individuals in meetings or implement virtual meetings.
• Stagger break times – have employees take breaks at different times to avoid overcrowding break areas.
• Teleworking – continue to let those employees who can work from home do so.
• Utilize personal protective equipment – continue using masks when interacting with the public, consider wearing gloves when receiving money and documents from the public and if possible, also consider installing
plexiglass “sneeze” guards at your public counters.
• Mark safe distance points – place “X”s on the floor 6 feet apart in public areas to discourage individuals from getting too close to one another.
• Continue to offer alternative options – utilize drop boxes, offer online payments if possible, encourage those that can conduct business over the phone or via email to do so.

Keep your office clean
Personal hygiene, sanitizing your space and asking staff that are sick to stay home are the first lines of defense in preventing the spread of viruses.
• Practice proper hygiene – encourage staff to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer and avoid touching their face, nose and eyes.
• Developing a frequent and regular routine for cleaning – sanitize frequently used surfaces often such as phones, keyboards, desks, door handles, breakrooms and bathrooms.
• Limit in-office work to the healthy – consider prescreening your staff (taking temperatures prior to coming to work) and require those that are ill stay home.

While the above information is not intended nor should be construed as professional legal or medical advice, we hope that these tips help you navigate the path to resuming normal operations and preparing for any future incidents. Continue to follow and monitor Federal, State, and Local guidelines as well as the recommendations of the CDC as they are updated regularly.

Helpful Links
The CDC has several resources and guidelines to assist you. As information continues to change, we would encourage you to monitor the CDC website for the most current information. We have provided links to some of those resources for your convenience.
CDC – Resources for Businesses and Employers
CDC – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
CDC – COVID-19 fact sheet
CDC – Use of Face Coverings

The MTPP Risk Control Department is available to assist you during this transition. Please contact your dedicated Risk Control Representative should you have any questions or require additional resources. Thank you for continuing to be safe and vigilant!