COVID-19 UPDATES – CDC
Cape May County Chamber of Commerce
COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals.
Visit their page here.
Covid-19 Resource Handouts
- Reopening Workplaces
See below for copy of CMC Health Dept. memo, received via the Township of Upper on Friday, 01 May 2020.
Additional details on the “LIMITED OPENING” specific for Upper Twp.
will be available on the Township’s website.
To: All Cape May County Business Owners 04
From: Kevin Thomas, Health Officer
Subject: Covid-19 Business Recovery Guidelines, ( Rec’d 01 May 2020 )
On April 27, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy announced his vision, “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” to restart New Jersey and put the state on the road to recovery. He outlined six key principles and benchmarks to guide the process for restoring New Jersey’s economic health by ensuring public health (see attached).
Once these key principals are met and the Governor eliminates Executive Orders or reduces restrictions that were meant to safeguard New Jersey residents from the devastating effects of Covid-19, then restarting our economy will begin. A responsible and carefully planned social distancing and infectious control approach that safeguards our residents and visitors must be carefully rolled out. Each business must adhere to common sense guidelines that are clearly laid out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Cape May County Health Department recommends following the 5 step CDC approach for reopening a business to insure that restarting our economy and returning people to work will be done methodically, strategically, and responsibly. Additionally, the following hyperlinks and attached guidance documents give clear instructions for reopening workplaces during a pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting and reopening restaurants.
The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) just released guidance to assist employers in making decisions regarding reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides continuing to follow the recommendations issued by state and local health departments when determining the most appropriate actions to take, you should pay particular attention to these five steps.
- Consider Preliminary Questions before Reopening
According to the CDC guidance, you should consider three questions when deciding whether to reopen:
- Are you in a community no longer requiring significant mitigation?
- Will you be able to limit non-essential employees to those from the local geographic area?
- Do you have protective measures for employees at higher risk (e.g. teleworking, tasks that minimize contact)?
You should only consider reopening if you can answer “yes” to each of the three questions.
- Take Recommended Safety Actions
Once you feel comfortable that your organization can satisfy the three preliminary questions, you should next adopt the CDC’s recommended safety actions. They include:
- Promoting healthy hygiene practices that include wearing gloves and masks;
- Intensifying cleaning, disinfection (e.g., small static groups, no large events);
- Canceling non-essential travel, and encouraging alternative commuting and telework;
- Spacing out seating (more than six feet) and staggering gathering times;
- Restricting use of any shared items and spaces; and
- Training all staff in the above safety actions.
- Implement Safeguards for the Ongoing Monitoring of Employees
Next, before reopening, you should implement safeguards for the ongoing monitoring of employees. They include:
- Encouraging employees who are sick to stay home;
- Establishing routine, daily employee health checks;
- Monitoring absenteeism and having flexible time off policies;
- Having an action plan if a staff member gets COVID-19;
- Creating and testing emergency communication channels for employees; and
- Establishing communication with state and local health authorities.
If your workplace does see a positive case of COVID-19, you should follow the guidance provided in our 4-Step Plan For Handling Confirmed COVID-19 Cases When Your Business Reopens.
- Prepare Your Physical Workspace for Reopening
The final step before you reopen your doors involves preparing your physical workspace for the reentry of workers, customers, guests, and other visitors. The CDC has released guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes. You should review this guidance when implementing cleaning procedures at your facilities after shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
For outdoor areas, you should maintain existing cleaning practices. As the CDC notes, viruses are killed more quickly by warmer temperatures and sunlight.
For indoor areas, the CDC recommends normal, routine cleaning for areas that have been unoccupied within the last seven days. For indoor areas that have been occupied with in the last seven days, the CDC recommends that frequently touched surfaces and objects made of hard and non-porous materials (glass, metal, or plastic) be cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Frequently touched surfaces and objects made of soft and porous materials, such as carpet, rugs, or material in seating areas, should be thoroughly cleaned or laundered. If possible, the CDC recommends considering removing soft and porous materials in high traffic areas. Surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched should be cleaned on a routine basis.
- Maintain Vigilance
Your work is not completed once you open your doors and welcome back your workers and others. The CDC recommends that you should maintain routine cleaning and disinfection procedures after reopening to reduce the potential for exposure. Finally, you should continue to monitor COVID-19 in your area, and if necessary, be prepared to close your facilities quickly if another outbreak occurs.
All businesses are asked to have basic infection prevention measures in place, including having protective equipment, doing temperature checks, using testing and modifying workspaces to keep workers as far apart as possible — whether through space or physical barriers.
Businesses are also asked to minimize work-related travel, limit access to areas where workers may congregate, have flexible sick leave policies, have workers who return from remote work do so in shifts or split shifts, and continue to encourage telework.
CDC is recommending the use of cloth face masks. The cloth mask should be used in public settings where social distancing can be difficult, for example restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and pharmacies. The cloth face coverings that are being recommended by the CDC are not N-95 respirators, these supplies should be reserved for healthcare works and other medical first responders.
Cloth Face Coverings Should:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Include multiple layers of fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
Though all those public health and safety recommendations for employees and customers also apply to barber and cosmetology shops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors, social distancing requirements of keeping people at least 6 feet apart do not apply to individuals whose job duties require close contact — so those types of businesses will be able to operate.
Gyms and hotel pools will also be able to be open “if they adhere to strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.”
Retail establishments, including grocery stores, will be subject to occupancy limits based on local fire codes or on a provided formula if such codes are not in place.
Where possible, customers are to be asked to wait in their vehicles instead of in waiting rooms.
Restaurants will be able to offer dine-in services again, but with tables and seating spaced to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Restaurants may also regulate self-serve options such as salad bars and buffets, use disposable menus and have employees use personal protective equipment. Drive-thru, pickup and delivery options are still encouraged.
Food courts will be able to open but will not be able to offer seating.
Churches may have in-person services but will have to adhere to social distancing requirements and wearing of masks. Hand-shaking, shared communion cups and other such practices should be avoided. Places of worship are also encouraged to continue offering streaming options for people to watch at home.
Movie theaters and events at large venues such as stadiums, amusement parks, concerts, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings may be attended, but seating must be spaced to meet social distancing requirements.
Where community swimming pools, fitness centers, libraries, and summer athletics and camps are offered, it’s encouraged programs limit the number of participants, modify or restructure activities, and increase sanitation measures.
It’s advised that high-trafficked or high-touched areas such as playgrounds remain closed.
Page Update 29 May 2020 11 pm