New L.A. County, Orange County and San Diego County Orders Regarding Face Coverings; CDC Issues Office Re-Opening Guidance That Braces Employers for Sweeping Changes
As businesses move further into their Stage 2 re-opening, county health officials throughout Southern California have been issuing more comprehensive orders regarding face coverings, social distancing, places of worship, dine-in restaurants, childcare facilities, and other industries:
May 26, 2020 Order:
Note re face coverings: The Order states “people leaving their residences must…[wear] a cloth face covering whenever there is or can be contact with others who are non-household members in both public and private spaces.”
May 22, 2020 Order [Revised May 28, 2020]:
Note re face coverings: “All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face-covering outside their home when they are not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or does not reside in the same living unit.”
May 27, 2020 Order:
Note re face coverings: The Order states everyone “present in the county” two years old or older must have a face covering in their possession when they leave their place of residence. Further, the face covering must be worn when in a business or within six feet of a non-family member or someone not part of their household.
CDC Recommends Significant Changes for Office Workspaces
On May 27, 2020, the CDC has issued a step-by-step blueprint on how to reopen office workspaces amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, telling employers in no uncertain terms that getting back to business shouldn't mean business as usual: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html
The new guidance provides a readable checklist for employers on what they need to do to ensure their office spaces are physically prepared for workers to return and how they should approach interactions with employees as they proceed beyond the pandemic.
The CDC recommends:
- Check for rodents that may have joined ranks when offices closed.
- Implement policies that prohibit handshaking, hugs and fist bumps.
- Limit how many people can get on elevators.
- Provide incentives for employees to use other forms of public transportation that allow for single-occupancy rides.
- Make sure ventilation systems are in good shape.
- Ensure no new construction hazards.
- Help workers maintain six feet of separation through physical barriers or staggered shifts.
- Provide workers with enough time to maintain proper hygiene. When workers arrive at the office they must wash their hands.
- Workers should be able to request new hours to commute when it's less busy.
- Upon arriving at work, employees should get a temperature and symptom check.
- Inside the office, desks should be six feet apart. If that isn’t possible, employers should consider erecting plastic shields around desks.
- Seating should be barred in common areas.
- Abolition of communal perks like latte makers and snack bins. “Replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as prepackaged, single-serving items,” the guidelines say.
- And face coverings should be worn at all times.
|ERICA M. SOROSKY
|ERIN K. OYAMA