This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Reopening the country also strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus, social distancing, isolation, and keeping track of how someone infected might have infected other people. This plan is part of the larger United States Government plan and focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.
The COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly across the United States in February and March, forcing cities to impose stay-athome and shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. We are now preparing for a phased re-entry of office buildings over the coming months. To provide guidance on building operations and workforce issues, BOMA International assembled a task group from across North America to help owners and managers plan for what is coming. This document provides guidance for preparing commercial buildings for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors, contractors, and others, and identifies other operational and safety procedures and protocols that should be implemented, updated, or enhanced as we prepare to live and work in a
post-COVID-19 world. This is a framework for developing your individual property or portfolio plans. Information presented represents suggested best practices and procedures and identifies questions and issues you should consider.
The Van Buren County (“County”) takes the health and safety of our employees extremely seriously. With the spread of COVID-19 and the need for certain employees to continue in-person work, either because they are critical infrastructure workers or they are needed to conduct minimum basic operations for the organization, we are committed to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at all workplaces and to provide a healthy and safe facilities for our employees and public.
The County has prepared the following COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (“Plan”) for guidance to County leaders and employees to get back to work in the “new normal”, which includes establishing protocols in accordance with relevant State and local orders related to COVID-19, including the State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) Administrative Order (AO) 2020-14. The Plan also serves as a framework for safely and efficiently re-opening the County Courts/Offices/Departments.
This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of March 30, 2020. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the CDC website periodically for updated interim guidance.
This document briefly summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19.
The principal objectives of COVID-19 surveillance are to monitor the spread and intensity of the pandemic, to enable contact tracing to slow transmission, and to identify disease clusters requiring special intervention. Secondary objectives include understanding the severity and spectrum of disease, identifying risk factors for and methods of preventing infection, and producing data essential for forecasting. In addition to tracking the disease itself, monitoring of healthcare capacity and essential supplies through the National Healthcare Safety Network
(NHSN) is critical to ensure adequacy of care.
Because no single system can capture all parameters of the pandemic, CDC has implemented multiple, complementary surveillance systems (Appendix A). Key systems are case-based reporting through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), laboratory-based surveillance, syndromic-surveillance data reported through the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP), and data on healthcare system capacity reported through the NHSN (Appendix B). Additional systems, such as COVID-Net, provide rich, publicly available
information for meeting secondary objectives. CDC continues to explore emerging and experimental surveillance platforms with a critical eye toward proven utility. Control of the epidemic requires action at the individual, community, and population levels. CDC has provided
state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments with extensive detailed guidance on contact tracing, infection control, and a wide range of other prevention and control topics. Recent models suggest that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission and delays in case recognition can greatly reduce the effectiveness of contact tracing. To enhance the speed and thus effectiveness of contact tracing, CDC is exploring technologic methods for instantaneous voluntary notification of contacts of confirmed cases. At the community level, recent events have shown the devastating effects that outbreaks can have among vulnerable populations, especially those in congregate settings such as nursing homes, prisons, and homeless shelters. Similarly, outbreaks in food production plants and other critical industries are crippling communities
financially and threatening national food security. Rapid identification and response to these events is a CDC priority that can mitigate the immediate impact and provide critical insights needed to prevent future outbreaks in similar settings. CDC has developed extensive tools to assist states, counties, facilities, and industries in responding to and preventing these events (Appendix C). Laboratory testing of asymptomatic individuals is an evolving consideration as more is learned about the role of asymptomatic and subclinical infections in transmission SARS-COV-2. Emerging evidence suggests that asymptomatic infections may play an important role in the epidemiology of the disease. However, it is important to define the circumstances where testing asymptomatic persons is likely to be helpful in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Interim guidance about laboratory test usage for asymptomatic populations and for serologic testing and serologic surveillance is provided in Appendix D.
Surveillance and hospitalization indicators can aid public health and government officials in their decisions when to reopen communities. The disease occurrence and hospital gating indicators in the Opening Up America Again guideline provide states and communities insight into the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in their jurisdiction. These indicators are part of the broad assessment jurisdictions should undertake when deciding when and how to adjust community mitigation strategies for COVID-19 (Appendix E).
As businesses and other organizations gradually open after the COVID-19-related slowdown, they will need to consider a variety of measures for keeping people safe. These considerations include practices for scaling up operations, safety actions (e.g., cleaning and disinfection, social distancing), monitoring possible reemergence of illness, and maintaining health operations. Interim guidance for helping establishments with these steps is provided in Appendix F.
Widespread community mitigation combined with ongoing containment activities represents both an effective intervention for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and a serious threat to the economic well-being of the country and the world.
Companies across all industries and sectors have been affected to some extent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were deemed “non-essential” in the United States (U.S.) by state and federal governments, resulting in employers halting operations and closing workplaces. The reopening of office workplaces should be conducted in a thorough manner accounting for several factors before employees are allowed to return. Employers in office settings should
not only address preparing the workplace for operations to occur during a pandemic (e.g., enhanced disinfection measures), but also the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the workspace. For such businesses with indoor workplaces, IEQ is a concern for buildings that have been unoccupied and/or dormant for extended periods. Employers should also consider the comfort of employees as they return to work because they may be in a heightened state of concern. Putting in place thoughtful measures to ensure employees are well-positioned to transition back to work with minimal disruption is important. With restrictions beginning to lift, employers are challenged with difficult questions pertaining to preparing the office to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during operations and addressing IEQ concerns before reopening, such as:
• How can I prepare my employees for the heightened policy and guidelines now in place?
• How can I help alleviate stress and concern for employees while at work?
• What should I do to ensure that I am reducing the risk of transmission in common areas?
• How do I address items frequently used by employees (e.g., vending machines, coffee makers, ice machines, etc.)?
• Should I inspect the entire workplace before reopening?
• Should I run my HVAC system for a specific time period prior to reopening?
• How should I investigate odors?
• Should I wait after disinfecting before reopening?
Several measures can be taken to address COVID-19 and IEQ concerns before the workplace is fully reopened. Common approaches to addressing COVID-19 concerns also have the capacity to address IEQ concerns. In addition, IEQ concerns might
also develop as operations resume. Therefore, preventative measures can be implemented to address issues that may arise from increased cleaning activities to address COVID-19 concerns. Lastly, all of this can be completed in a manner that allows for critical operations to be performed and reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in the workplace. This document offers practical guidance for employer and employee led actions and in an office setting. It aims to address the key questions above by providing tips for 1) workplace preparation, 2) workforce management and 3) employee readiness.