Back to Work; Flatten the Curve
As the voice of business in Utah Valley, we advocate for a return to economic activity in accordance with public health and safety and in conjunction with the state's Utah Leads Together plan. Any business that can have employees work remotely is still encouraged to do so.
The following best practices are drawn from conversations with business owners and local public health officials. Business practices should be implemented in parallel with CDC and local and state Department of Health guidelines.
We urge policymakers at the local and state level to consider businesses that follow this criteria as part of the phased reopening of our economy. These guidelines are not exhaustive, nor do they encompass every industry, but rather represent a robust starting point for how general businesses can operate again safely, while protecting employees and customers.
Safe Practices and Consumer Confidence
Businesses should aggressively communicate their safe to work practices to their customers. Demonstrating that it is safe to work, safe to shop, and otherwise safe to do business once again will be key in the coming weeks and months.
Again, any phased reopening must be in accordance with sound public health decisions, and with proper safety protocols outlined here and by local and state health departments. More information from the experts and elected leaders may add to or alter these guidelines.
In support of the Utah Leads Together plan, as well as version 2.0 that plans for economic reopening, the business community of Utah Valley stands ready to move our region and state towards economic prowess once again, while protecting against the renewed spread of coronavirus.
For general businesses, including offices and production or manufacturing facilities
1) All on-site workers have their temperatures taken each day prior to entering the building. Anyone with a fever will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
2) Employees wear masks, and safety glasses if needed.
3) Breaks and lunches staggered in groups of 10 or less; and break rooms or common areas arranged so individuals are all at least six feet apart. Also consider breaks outdoors.
4) Create staggered or rolling employee work groups that work on different days, with no "cross-pollination" between groups.
5) Every two hours, employees stop working and wipe down their work areas with sanitizing/disinfecting cleaning supplies, and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
7) Weekly on a non-working day or non-working time, disinfect buildings through fogging, electrostatically spraying, or something similar, and emphasize high-traffic areas. We recommend using an experienced contractor that uses both EPA approved disinfectants and methods, as well as using an established commercial janitorial company or disaster response company for these services.
For food service industries, like restaurants and bars
Restaurants and food establishments already comply with many sanitation and hygiene regulations. With some simple additions to current practices, dining rooms could begin to safely reopen dependent on public health data.
This is an additional list of recommendations that provides more detail for this industry. Individual establishments should review and make decisions in accordance with their needs and in consultation with local and state health department guidelines.
1) Dining rooms should be sanitized with a quat sanitizer, bleach water mixture, or other commercial grade sanitizer before service, through-out service by a dedicated employee, and at the end of service. This includes all tables, chairs, door handles and any hard surface touched by the public.
2) Gloves should be provided upon request of the customer. Latex gloves may be provided, but Nitrile or Vinyl gloves should be available for customers with a Latex allergy. It is not required for customers to wear gloves, but is strongly encouraged.
3) Masks and gloves shall be worn by all service staff. Gloves must be changed at the time limits set by the local and state health departments. Every 30 minutes is recommended.
4) Non Signature methods of payment are encouraged. Where signature credit card slips, cash, and checks are used, these should be placed in a clean envelope delivered by the server to limit contact with the customer’s payment method. Checkbooks are not to be used (only single use disposable envelopes that are discarded when customer is finished).
5) Credit cards should be handled as little as possible. Gloves should be changed frequently by staff handling the payment method. Cards and payment stations shall be sanitized after each use.
6) Kitchen and Service staff shall use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods, and must wash hands frequently and consistently. Guidelines from local and state health departments for safe food handling shall be followed at all times. Gloves are not required for foods that have yet to be cooked, but are encouraged. Gloves are not required when handling dough in bakeries, pizza shops, or restaurants where it will be baked before serving to the public. If serving raw cookie dough, that has the potential to be eaten before baking, gloves must be worn while handling it.
7) Service Staff must have temperature taken before the shift and a log must be kept. This log must be available for inspection by the local or state health department upon request. Thermometers must be no contact or forehead thermometers. Infrared thermometers are acceptable.
8) Gloves must be available inside and outside bathroom doors, so patrons can put on a fresh set of gloves going into the bathroom and coming out of the bathroom. This will help maintain safe hard surface contact.
9) Cups, lids and straws will be available for drinks, but must not be out for the public to take. Paper products must be provided by the restaurant upon request and be kept where the public cannot have access to them. Communal type dispensers (i.e. napkin dispensers) cannot be available to the public. Single use dispensers are acceptable.
10) Plastic flatware must come pre-wrapped. Loose plastic flatware is unacceptable.
11) To go boxes, pizza boxes, paper cups, and any other paper product that touches food, must be treated as food. Any time they are handled, gloves and should be worn to prevent bare hand touching, especially in regards to folding pizza boxes..
12) Ice is a ready-to-eat food and must be treated as such. Hands must be gloved when filling ice machines, and masks must be worn.
13) Servers and service staff must submit to COVID-19 testing before being allowed back to work. In the case of a positive test, service staff should follow instructions given by the local health department before being cleared to return to work.
14) Ensure patrons not in the same party are more than six feet apart from one another. This can be accomplished by spacing tables out or by placing patrons at every other table, with the minimum required distance. In restaurants where customers seat themselves, tape should be placed at tables not to be used.
15) Playgrounds in restaurants should remain closed.
16) Restaurants with queues or lines should ensure social distancing procedures with visual or physical markers, and not allow more than 10 people in their waiting area at a time. A list should be kept, and names and numbers taken. Customers should then be asked to wait outside or in their cars. Text messages should be sent when their table is ready.
18) Menus, tables, chairs, salt shakers, or any other objects used by customers shall be sanitized between each use. Single use paper menus are highly recommended.
19) Large, non immediate familial parties are discouraged.
20) All You Can Eat Buffets should have attendants to serve food. Social distancing should be maintained at all times.
21) Buffet Lines should be sanitized at all times. Single use plates should be used.
22) Table spacing is important at buffet dining rooms, and should maintain a six foot minimum between patrons not in the same party.
23) Buffet queues for payment should have six foot gaps. A wait list shall be made for customers in the event that the restaurant is full, and customers should be asked to wait outside or in their cars. When a table opens up, customers should be sent a text to alert them that they are ready.
Business owners: check guidelines from OSHA on safety in the workplace for employees and customers: Click Here