For businesses

Toolkit for businesses

Employers can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within their workplaces and the community, by understanding Health Department guidelines.

 The Health Department will identify and contact people who test positive for COVID-19 and close contacts to discuss the proper steps they need to take. However, due to the volume of cases and the process of disease reporting, these calls can be delayed by several days. Often, friends, family and employers are aware of a potential exposure before the Health Department. The COVID-19 Toolkit for Businesses & Workplaces was created by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department as a guide to help your business or organization create or enhance your COVID-19 prevention and response policy. 

While this toolkit and the guidance below cover general business operations, there is more information available for different sectors, such as childcare, restaurants, gyms or personal services

Current Orders

Businesses should to read and understand the updated requirements of the Civil Emergency Order which may affect their operations. . In some cases, an order might have specific requirements for different types of businesses.

City of Springfield order: www.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirusresponse

All retail businesses, restaurants and personal care services in the City of Springfield must limit customer occupancy based on the order that applies to their location. Refer to the order for guidance specific to your industry.

As of July 16th, masks are required in public places inside the Springfield city limits. Click here for masking ordinance FAQs

Prevention & Response

  • It is recommended that businesses screen employees and/or customers for symptoms. The Prevention & Response Guide explains how to set up employee screening. You may also consider providing your employees with a symptom screening log.            
  • Promote and encourage safe practices such as face coverings and physical distancing. Printables and signs are available for employer use to promote current guidelines and recommendations.  
  • Require employees to stay home if they are sick. Send them home if they report to work with a symptom or if symptoms develop during their workday.
  • Individuals at high-risk should continue to remain at home and not interact with others except for vital activities.
  • Remote work options and alternate meeting options should be continued. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  •  Employees who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and quarantine for 7-10 days from their last date of contact with the positive individual, depending on test results. More information on quarantine and isolation can be found here.
  • Practice physical distancing of 6 feet in all areas to prevent close contacts. Remember, according to CDC guidance, if an employee tests positive, anyone who has had close contact has to quarantine, even if they were wearing masks.
  • Promote the use of self-serve checkout registers; clean and disinfect registers and client credit cards regularly.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Require hand washing/sanitizing by workers at appropriate places within the business.

Physical Distancing Guidance

Employees and Patrons

Businesses must meet physical distancing requirements by maintaining at least six feet from employee to employee and employee to patron to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus infection. Recognizing that this may be challenging, below are examples:

  • Offer services remotely utilizing video or phone.
  • Provide delivery of products through curbside pick-up or delivery.  
  • Post signs, floor markings, etc. with clear instructions of steps employees and patrons should take to maintain physical distancing.
  • Mark off six feet spacing for patrons standing in line or checking out.
  • Space kiosk/register six feet apart or use every other station.
  • In retail spaces where employee/customer distancing cannot be maintained, a physical barrier should be used (plexiglass panel).

Employers and Employees

  • Stagger shifts and schedules for employees. Consider adopting cohorts to reduce the number of employee-to-employee interactions. 
  • Take breaks and meals outside or where proper physical distancing is attainable. 
  • Close common areas (e.g. breakrooms, meeting rooms, etc.) where employees and customers are likely to congregate and interact. 
  • Increase physical space between employees at the worksite (e.g. moving desks six feet apart, having employees working at every other workstation, etc.)

COVID-19 FAQs FOR BUSINESSES 

These are questions we frequently receive from businesses and organizations through our COVID-19 call center and the contract tracing process. Much of this information will assist you in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace, and help you understand what steps to take if you have an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who has.

Why do we have to quarantine if we were all wearing masks?
I had all my exposed employees get tested, and they are negative. Can they return to work?
How am I supposed to run my business?
How can I avoid mass quarantines which may result in me having to shut down my business?
When can employees come back to work?
Our employee who was sick came into close contact with customers/clients, what do we do?
Is it okay to tell my staff or customers who tested positive?
Can I require proof that the employee is positive or has been exposed?
Should I require my positive employee to show proof of a negative test before returning to work?
I was told I was an essential worker/business during the Stay at Home order. Does this mean that I can continue working even if I was exposed to COVID-19?
If I have to isolate or quarantine and working from home is not an option for me, how will I pay my bills?

Full time and part time workers may be eligible for paid sick leave through the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. If their employer has more than 500 employees and is not offering paid sick leave to full time and/or part time employees, then the employee can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). To be eligible for a PUA claim, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found not eligible. However, eligibility for part-time employees for both PUA and regular unemployment varies. They can begin that process here: https://uinteract.labor.mo.gov/benefits/home.do, and find more information on PUA here: https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus. More information on the FFCRA can be found in the Toolkit section below under “Families First Coronavirus Response Act Posters.” Both FFCRA and PUA are set to expire on 12/31/2020.

 

COVID-19 Toolkit Individual Sections

  • A Prevention & Response Guide for Employers: This guide will cover strategies that employers can implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces, and step-by-step instructions for what to do when an employee tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: We have answered the most commonly asked questions that we hear from businesses.
  • Workplace Symptom Screening Log: A log to ensure that employees are completing a symptom and temperature screening daily.
  • Close Contact Log: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, this tool will assist employers in recording and contacting individuals who should begin self-quarantining. This information will also need to be provided to the Health Department.
  • Exposure Notification Call & Email Templates: Notifying other employees or customers of a possible exposure can be challenging. These templates can be used to make those notifications, provide information, and help avoid miscommunication.
  • Sample Employment Policies for COVID-19: Employers with workplace/employment policies can use these sample policies related to COVID-19 to communicate their prevention and response processes and expectations to their staff.
  • Rights and Responsibilities for Employees and Employers: Along with the sample policies, these pages will be an effective way of communicating the actions you will take as an employer and the expectations you have of your employees, related to COVID-19.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act Posters: Employee & Employer: These posters are provided from the Department of Labor for businesses eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid leave program.
  • "What Do I Do?" Information for Individuals: Employees or customers will likely have questions if they are notified of an exposure, show symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19. These three graphics will answer a lot of their questions and let them know what their next steps should be.
  • Individual Temperature & Symptom Log: Individuals who need to quarantine should begin monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 at home, this log will help them do that.
  • Printables for Display: We have included a variety of signs that can be displayed in and around workplaces to remind both employees and customers of the precautions they should take to protect themselves and others.