Information sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Written by: Lauryn Feil
The impact of COVID-19 on different businesses has varied greatly. While some businesses were able to shift to a remote work model, others had to find ways to adjust their everyday operations or close their doors entirely. As of May 20, 2020, states adhering to stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders began lifting the restrictions of businesses and public spaces. But the reality for business owners is that it’s highly unlikely they will be able to just pick up where they left off. Businesses will continue to face challenges as our nation carefully navigates the public health threat of COVID-19.
If you are a business owner and are making efforts to reopen soon or are already reopened, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released interim guidelines that you are encouraged to implement to help protect your employees and customers from COVID-19. You should plan to make necessary changes to your business model and assess what new growth opportunities may exist for you in this post-pandemic world.
To start, the table below from the CDC presents examples of health controls you can implement in your workplace. The most effective controls are those that rely on engineering solutions, followed by administrative controls, then personal protective equipment (PPE). Worksites may have to implement multiple controls from these columns to effectively control the hazard.
Employers: Use the table below to implement the most appropriate health controls for your workplace.
Because each type of business has been affected each industry differently, the reopening process will vary by sector. Here is sector-specific guidance from some of the leading industry associations and government sources:
- For restaurants: CDC’s Reopening Decision Tree for Restaurants and Bars and National Restaurant Association’s Reopening Guidance
- For retailers: National Retail Federation’s Operation Open Doors
- For home service providers: AIHA’s Reopening Guidance for At-Home Service Providers
- For construction businesses: AIHA’s Reopening Guidance for Construction Environments
- For gyms and fitness facilities: AIHA’s Reopening Guidance for Gyms and Workout Facilities
- For office-based businesses: AIHA’s Reopening Guidance for General Office Settings
- For hair and nail salons: AIHA’s Reopening Guidance for Hair and Nail Salons
- For airlines: CDC’s Interim Guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew
- For childcare programs: CDC’s Reopening Decision Tree for Childcare Programs
- For camps and youth programs: CDC’s Reopening Decision Tree for Camps and Youth Programs
- For schools: CDC’s Reopening Decision Tree for Schools
Prompt and straightforward communication to your employees, stakeholders, and customers is key during a crisis situation. These resources can help with drafting and disseminating communications:
- Social Media Toolkit for Reopening
- Customizable Flyer for businesses to communicate with employees and customers
- CDC Communications tools
- Public Service Announcements from the CDC
Additional resources business owners can refer to for reopening:
- Information for Businesses and Industries specific to Austin
- State-by-State Business Reopening Guide with interactive map
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Guide
- Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness
- Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide
- Coronavirus Response Toolkit for Businesses
- CARES Act Guide for Independent Contractors and 1099 Workers