Our highest priority is keeping Arizonans healthy, safe, and economically secure.

Arizonans: the fastest way to get assistance or info. from our office is to email casework@sinema.senate.gov.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading, national public health institute of the United States.

Please find the link to download the entire CDC report and guidance HERE or on the CDC website HERE

CERTAIN ARIZONA BUSINESSES: Per Executive Order 2020-43, “Pausing of Arizona’s Reopening,” gyms and fitness centers, bars and nightclubs, waterparks and tubing, and indoor movie theaters were temporarily closed due to spread of the coronavirus. On August 10, 2020, the Arizona Department of Health Services released public health criteria to be used by these businesses to determine when it is safe to reopen for limited or full capacity. Read the Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines for each type of business HERE

The Arizona Department of Health Services has also created a data dashboard to see whether counties have met the recommended benchmarks for reopening of gyms, movie theaters, waterparks, tubing venues, and bars. Data on the dashboard will be updated weekly on Thursdays HERE.

Upon reopening, all impacted businesses must implement the safety protocols and guidelines prescribed by the Arizona Department of Health Services and must submit an attestation form stating they are in compliance. The attestation form shall be posted in a visible location in the facility. Additional details can be found HERE. 

CONGREGATE SETTINGS/NURSING HOMES: The Arizona Department of Health Services has released new guidelines and requirements for in-person visits to loved ones in long-term care facilities. These new guidelines apply to facilities that house and care for vulnerable adults and children, including:

  • Nursing care institutions
  • Residential care institutions
  • Nursing-supported developmental disability group homes
  • Intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IIDs)

Compassionate care visitation must be allowed by facilities, regardless of the level of community spread. Other types of visitation may be determined by each county’s level of spread. More information is available HERE.

Facilities may allow indoor visits to loved ones if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The visitor presents the facility a negative COVID test less than 48 hours old.
  • The visitor signs an attestation form that they have isolated in the time between the test was taken and the visit, and is symptom-free. 
  • The facility limits contact as much as possible, including a dedicated visitation space.
  • The facility requires mask-wearing by residents (when safe and appropriate), visitors, and staff.
  • The facility requires hand sanitizing before the visit.
  • The facility maintains a visitor log for infection tracing purposes.
  • The facility institutes enhanced cleaning and sanitation of the facility where the visits occur.

A data dashboard has been created to help facilities and Arizonans better understand if their county has met recommended benchmarks to allow in-person visits. Data on the dashboard will be updated weekly on Thursdays HERE.

CDC GUIDELINES TO RE-OPEN SAFELY & SMARTLY

The CDC released a report in May 2020, providing a comprehensive overview of its activities supporting the COVID-19 response and specific guidance on steps employers and public places could take to re-open smartly and safely. For those looking for the step by step guidance, please refer to “Appendix F: Setting Specific Guidance” on page 40.

CDC offers this interim guidance to assist establishments as they open. CDC will update this guidance as it learns more about COVID-19 and best practices to prevent its spread.

This guidance is meant to supplement the decision tools CDC released on May 14, 2020. It lists specific practices that employers may find helpful at particular stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance sets forth a menu of safety measures, from which establishments may choose those that make sense for them in the context of their operations and local community, as well as State and local regulations and directives.

Click on any category below to go directly to that section.

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR CHILD CARE PROGRAMS

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS AND DAY CAMPS

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS WITH WORKERS AT HIGH RISK

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR MASS TRANSIT ADMINISTRATORS

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR COMMUNITIES OF FAITH

FOR INDIVIDUALS: VENTURING OUT? BE PREPARED AND STAY SAFE

CONSIDERATIONS FOR EVENTS AND GATHERINGS

OTHER WHITE HOUSE AND CDC GUIDANCE

FDA GUIDANCE ON PPE AND SANITATION PRODUCTS

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR CHILD CARE PROGRAMS

The gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices at child care programs is crucial to helping parents and guardians return to work. Many states have closed schools for the academic year and, with summer quickly approaching, an increasing number of working parents may need to rely on these programs. CDC’s Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs and supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open provide recommendations for operating child care programs in low, moderate, and significant mitigation communities. In communities that are deemed significant mitigation areas by state and local authorities, child care programs should be closed. However, child care programs can choose to remain open to serve children of essential workers, such as healthcare workers. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials who can help determine levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health system and healthcare systems. 

CDC is releasing this interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale up of operations. The scope and nature of community mitigation suggested decreases from Step 1 to Step 3. Some amount of community mitigation is necessary across all steps until a vaccine or therapeutic drug becomes widely available. 

Scaling Up Operations 

  • In all Steps: 
    • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community. 
    • Protect and support staff, children, and their family members who are at higher risk for severe illness. 
    • Provide staff from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to childcare programs in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa. 
    • Follow CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open
    • Encourage any other community groups or organizations that use the child care facilities also follow this guidance. 
  • Step 1: Restrict to children of essential workers
  • Step 2: Expand to all children with enhanced social distancing measures. 
  • Step 3: Remain open for all children with social distancing measures. 

Safety Actions 

Promote healthy hygiene practices (Steps 1-3) 

  • Teach and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff. 
  • Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings among all staff. Face coverings are most essential at times when social distancing is not possible. Staff should be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information should be provided to all staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings
  • Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, and tissues. 
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering. 

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation (Steps 1-3) 

  • Clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) multiple times per day and shared objects between use. 
  • Avoid use of items (for example, soft or plush toys) that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. 
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children. 
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk (for example, allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to children using the facility. 
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains or decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water. 

Promote social distancing 

  • Steps 1 and 2 
    • Ensure that classes include the same group of children each day and that the same child care providers remain with the same group each day, if possible. 
    • Restrict mixing between groups. 
    • Cancel all field trips, inter-group events, and extracurricular activities (Step 1). 
    • Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 2; Note: restricting attendance from those in Step 1 areas). 
    • Restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups at the same time. 
    • Space out seating and bedding (head-to-toe positioning) to six feet apart if possible. 
    • Close communal use spaces, such as game rooms or dining halls, if possible; if this is not possible, stagger use and disinfect in between uses. 
    • If a cafeteria or group dining room is typically used, serve meals in classrooms instead. Put each child’s meal on a plate, to limit the use of shared serving utensils and ensure the safety of children with food allergies. 
    • Stagger arrival and drop-off times or put in place other protocols to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible. 
  • Step 3
    • Consider keeping classes together to include the same group of children each day, and consider keeping the same child care providers with the same group each day. 
    • Allow minimal mixing between groups. Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 1 or 2 areas). 
    • Continue to space out seating and bedding (head-to-toe positioning) to six feet apart, if possible. 
    • Consider keeping communal use spaces closed, such as game rooms, playgrounds, or dining halls, if possible; if this is not possible, stagger use and disinfect in between uses. 
    • Consider continuing to plate each child’s meal, to limit the use of shared serving utensils and ensure the safety of children with food allergies. 
    • Consider limiting nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups. Restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 1 or 2 areas). 
    • Consider staggering arrival and drop-off times or putting in place other protocols to limit close contact with parents or caregivers as much as possible. 
  • Limit Sharing (Steps 1-3)
    • Keep each child’s belongings separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies, or areas and taken home each day and cleaned, if possible. 
    • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment etc. assigned to a single child) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
    • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. 
    • Avoid sharing of foods and utensils. 
    • Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, other games, and learning aids. 
    • Prevent risk of transmitting COVID-19 by avoiding immediate contact (such as shaking or holding hands, hugging, or kissing). 
  • Train all staff (Steps 1-3)
    • Train all staff in the above safety actions. Consider conducting the training virtually, or, if in-person, ensure social distancing is maintained. 

Monitoring and Preparing 

Check for signs and symptoms (Steps 1-3)

  • Screen children upon arrival, if possible. Establish routine, daily health checks on arrival, such as temperature screening of both staff and children. Options for daily health check screenings for children are provided in CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open and in CDC’s General Business FAQs for screening staff. 
  • Implement health checks (e.g. temperature checks and symptom screening) safely and respectfully, and with measures in place to ensure confidentiality as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality should be maintained. 
  • Employers and child care directors may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open as a guide. 
  • Encourage staff to stay home if they are sick and encourage parents to keep sick children home. 

Plan for when a staff member, child, or visitor becomes sick (Steps 1-3)

  • Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms during hours of operation, and ensure that children are not left without adult supervision. 
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility, as appropriate. 
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. 
  • Close off areas used by any sick person and do not use them until they have been cleaned. Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect to reduce risk to individuals cleaning. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants, and keep disinfectant products away from children 
  • Advise sick staff members or children not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation
  • Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation

Maintain healthy operations (Steps 1-3) 

  • Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices, if feasible. 
  • Monitor absenteeism to identify any trends in employee or child absences due to illness. This might indicate spread of COVID-19 or other illness. Have a roster of trained back-up staff in order to maintain sufficient staffing levels. 
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them. 
  • Create a communication system for staff and families for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures. 
  • Support coping and resilience among employees and children. 

Steps 1-3 

  • It is very important to check State and local health department notices daily about spread of COVID-19 in the area and adjust operations accordingly. 
  • Where a community is deemed a significant mitigation community, child care programs should close, except for those caring for the children of essential workers, such as the children of health care workers. 
  • In the event a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, programs may consider closing for a few days for cleaning and disinfection.

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS AND DAY CAMPS

As communities consider a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices in centers for learning, such as K-12 schools and summer day camps, CDC offers the following recommendations to keep communities safe while resuming peer-to-peer learning and providing crucial support for parents and guardians returning to work. These recommendations depend on community monitoring to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Communities with low levels of COVID-19 spread and those with confidence that the incidence of infection is genuinely low (e.g., communities that remain in low transmission or that have entered Step 2 or 3) may put in place the practices described below as part of a gradual scale up of operations. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other State and local authorities who can help assess the current level of mitigation needed based on levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems, among other relevant factors. CDC is releasing this interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale up of operations. The scope and nature of community mitigation suggested decreases from Step 1 to Step 3. Some amount of community mitigation is necessary across all steps until a vaccine or therapeutic drug becomes widely available.

Scaling Up Operations 

  • In all Steps: 
    • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community. 
    • Protect and support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as providing options for telework and virtual learning. 
    • Follow CDC’s Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs
    • Provide teachers and staff from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to schools and camps in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa. 
    • Encourage any other external community organizations that use the facilities also follow this guidance. 
  • Step 1: Schools that are currently closed, remain closed. E-learning or distance learning opportunities should be provided for all students. Support provision of student services such as school meal programs, as feasible. Camps should be restricted to children of essential workers and for children who live in the local geographic area only. 
  • Step 2: Remain open with enhanced social distancing measures and for children who live in the local geographic area only. 
  • Step 3: Remain open with distancing measures. Restrict attendance to those from limited transmission areas (other Step 3 areas) only.

Safety Actions 

Promote healthy hygiene practices (Steps 1-3)

  • Teach and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff. 
  • Teach and reinforce use of face coverings among all staff. Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. Face coverings should be worn by staff and encouraged in students (particularly older students) if feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. Information should be provided to staff and students on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings. Face coverings are not recommended for babies or children under the age of 2, or for anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected (many people carry COVID-19 but do not have symptoms). Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or personal protective equipment. 
  • Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans. 
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation (Steps 1-3) 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the school and on school buses at least daily (for example, playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) as well as shared objects (for example, toys, games, art supplies) between uses. 
  • To clean and disinfect school buses, see guidance for bus transit operators
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children. 
  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk (e.g., allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) risk to children using the facility. 
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.

Promote social distancing 

  • Step 1 and 2 
    • Ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of children stay with the same staff (all day for young children, and as much as possible for older children). 
    • Restrict mixing between groups. 
    • Cancel all field trips, inter-group events, and extracurricular activities (Step 1). 
    • Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 2; Note: restricting attendance from those in Step 1 areas). 
    • Restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups at the same time. 
    • Space seating/desks to at least six feet apart. 
    • Turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other), or have students sit on only one side of tables, spaced apart. 
    • Close communal use spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds if possible; otherwise stagger use and disinfect in between use. 
    • If a cafeteria or group dining room is typically used, serve meals in classrooms instead. Serve individually plated meals and hold activities in separate classrooms and ensure the safety of children with food allergies. 
    • Stagger arrival and drop-off times or locations, or put in place other protocols to limit close contact with parents or caregivers as much as possible. 
    • Create social distance between children on school buses (for example, seating children one child per seat, every other row) where possible.
  • Step 3
    • Consider keeping classes together to include the same group of children each day, and consider keeping the same child care providers with the same group each day. 
    • Allow minimal mixing between groups. Limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 1 or 2 areas). 
    • Continue to space out seating and bedding (head-to-toe positioning) to six feet apart, if possible. 
    • Consider keeping communal use spaces closed, such as game rooms or dining halls, if possible; if this is not possible, stagger use and disinfect in between uses. 
    • Consider continuing to plate each child’s meal, to limit the use of shared serving utensils and ensure the safety of children with food allergies. 
    • Consider limiting nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups. Restrict attendance of those from higher transmission areas (Step 1 or 2 areas).
    • Consider staggering arrival and drop-off times or locations, or put in place other protocols to limit close contact with parents or caregivers as much as possible.

Limit sharing (Steps 1-3) 

  • Keep each child’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas and taken home each day and cleaned, if possible. 
  • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment etc. assigned to a single student/camper) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use. 
  • If food is offered at any event, have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee instead of a buffet or family-style meal. Avoid sharing of foods and utensils. 
  • Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.

Train all staff (Steps 1-3) 

  • Train all teachers and staff in the above safety actions. Consider conducting the training virtually, or, if in-person, ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Check for signs and symptoms (Steps 1-3) 

  • If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g. temperature screening and/or symptoms checking) of staff and students safely, respectfully, as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality should be maintained. 
  • School and camp administrators may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open as a guide for screening children and CDC’s General Business FAQs for screening staff. 
  • Encourage staff to stay home if they are sick and encourage parents to keep sick children home. 

Plan for when a staff member, child, or visitor becomes sick (Steps 1-3)

Maintain healthy operations (Steps 1-3) 

  • Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices, if feasible. 
  • Monitor staff absenteeism and have a roster of trained back-up staff. 
  • Monitor health clinic traffic. School nurses and other healthcare providers play an important role in monitoring health clinic traffic and the types of illnesses and symptoms among students. 
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them. 
  • Create a communication system for staff and families for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures
  • Support coping and resilience among employees and children. 

Closing (Steps 1-3) 

  • Check State and local health department notices daily about transmission in the area and adjust operations accordingly. 
  • In the event a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, programs may consider closing for a short time (1-2 days) for cleaning and disinfection. 

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS WITH WORKERS AT HIGH RISK

As workplaces consider a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices, it is particularly important to keep in mind that some workers are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These workers include individuals over age 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Such underlying conditions include, but are not limited to, chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, hypertension, severe heart conditions, weakened immunity, severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis. Workers at higher risk for severe illness should be encouraged to self-identify, and employers should avoid making unnecessary medical inquiries. Employers should take particular care to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19, while making sure to be compliant with relevant Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) regulations. First and foremost, this means following CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance for reducing workplace exposure for all employees. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other State and local authorities who can help assess the current level of mitigation needed based on levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems. In addition, the guidance offered below applies to workplaces generally; specific industries may require more stringent safety precautions. Finally, there may be essential workplaces in which the recommended mitigation strategies are not feasible. CDC is releasing this interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale up of operations. The scope and nature of community mitigation suggested decreases from Step 1 to Step 3. Some amount of community mitigation is necessary across all steps until a vaccine or therapeutic drug becomes widely available.

Scaling Up Operations 

  • In all Steps: 
    • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community. 
    • Protect employees at higher risk for severe illness by supporting and encouraging options to telework. 
    • Consider offering workers at higher risk duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees (e.g., restocking shelves rather than working as a cashier), if agreed to by the worker. 
    • Encourage any other entities sharing the same workspace also follow this guidance. 
    • Provide employees from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to workplaces in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa. 
  • Step 1: Scale up only if business can ensure strict social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers; workers at higher risk for severe illness are recommended to shelter in place. 
  • Step 2: Scale up only if business can ensure moderate social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers; workers at higher risk for severe illness are recommended to shelter in place. 
  • Step 3: Scale up only if business can ensure limited social distancing, proper cleaning and disinfecting requirements, and protection of their workers and customers. 

Safety Action 

Promote healthy hygiene practices (Steps 1-3) 

  • Enforce hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and using cloth face coverings when around others where feasible; 
  • however, certain industries may require face shields. 
  • Ensure that adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, tissues, paper towels, and no-touch trash cans. 
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation (Steps 1-3)

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects between use. 
  • Avoid use or sharing of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. 
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants. 
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to individuals and employees using the workspace. 
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water. 

Promote social distancing (Steps 1-3) 

  • Limit service to drive-throughs, curbside take out, or delivery options, if possible (Step 1). 
  • Consider installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, and changing workspace layouts to ensure all individuals remain at least six feet apart. 
  • Close communal spaces, such as break rooms, if possible (Step 1) or stagger use and clean and disinfect in between uses (Steps 2 & 3). 
  • Encourage telework for as many employees as possible. 
  • Consider rotating or staggering shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace at the same time. 
  • Replace in-person meetings with video- or tele-conference calls whenever possible. 
  • Cancel all group events, gatherings, or meetings of more than 10 people (Step 1), of more than 50 people (Step 2), and any events where social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained between participants (all Steps). 
  • Restrict (Step 1) or consider limiting (Step 2) any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations. 
  • Limit any sharing of foods, tools, equipment, or supplies. 

Limit travel and modify commuting practices (Steps 1-3) 

  • Cancel all non-essential travel (Step 1) and consider resuming non-essential travel in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance (Steps 2 & 3). 
  • Ask employees who use public transportation to consider using teleworking to promote social distancing. 
  • Train all managers and staff in the above safety actions. Consider conducting the training virtually, or if in-person, ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Monitoring and Preparing 

Checking for signs and symptoms (Steps 1-3)

  • Consider conducting routine, daily health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of all employees. 
  • If implementing health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide. 
  • Encourage employees who are sick to stay at home. 

Plan for when an employee becomes sick (Steps 1-3) 

  • Employees with symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at work should immediately be separated and sent home. 
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. 
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and customers (if possible) immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. 
  • Close off areas used by the sick person until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours to clean and disinfect. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children. 
  • Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation
  • Sick employees should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. 

Maintain healthy operations (Steps 1-3) 

  • Implement flexible sick leave and other flexible policies and practices, such as telework, if feasible. 
  • Monitor absenteeism of employees and create a roster of trained back-up staff. 
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them. 
  • Create and test communication systems for employees for self-reporting and notification of exposures and closures. 
  • Support coping and resilience among employees. 

Closing (Steps 1-3)

  • Check State and local health department notices daily about transmission in the area and adjust operations accordingly. 
  • Be prepared to consider closing for a few days if there is a case of COVID-19 in the workplace or for longer if cases increase in the local area. 

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS

This guidance provides considerations for businesses in the food service industry (e.g., restaurants and bars) on ways to maintain healthy business operations and a safe and healthy work environment for employees, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread for both employees and customers. Employers should follow applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and CDC guidance for businesses to plan and respond to COVID-19. All decisions about implementing these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other State and local authorities who can help assess the current level of mitigation needed based on levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems. CDC is releasing this interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices. The scope and nature of community mitigation suggested decreases from Step 1 to Step 3. Some amount of community mitigation is necessary across all steps until a vaccine or therapeutic drug becomes widely available. 

Scaling Up Operations 

  • In all Steps: 
    • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community. 
    • Consider assigning workers at high risk for severe illness duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees (e.g., man-aging inventory rather than working as a cashier, managing administrative needs through telework). 
    • Provide employees from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to workplaces in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa. 
  • Step 1: Bars remain closed and restaurant service should remain limited to drive-through, curbside take out, or delivery with strict social distancing
  • Step 2: Bars may open with limited capacity; restaurants may open dining rooms with limited seating capacity that allows for social distancing
  • Step 3: Bars may open with increased standing room occupancy that allows for social distancing; restaurants may operate while maintaining social distancing

Safety Actions 

Promote healthy hygiene practices (Steps 1-3) 

  • Enforce hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and use of a cloth face coverings by employees when near other employees and customers. 
  • Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene practices for both employees and customers including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (on every table, if supplies allow), paper towels, and tissues. 
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering. 

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation (Steps 1-3) 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, door handles, work stations, cash registers) at least daily and shared objects (for example, payment terminals, tables, countertops/bars, receipt trays, condiment holders) between use. Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants. 
  • Make available individual disinfectant wipes in bathrooms. 
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces, food preparation surfaces, and beverage equipment after use. 
  • Avoid using or sharing items such as menus, condiments, and any other food. Instead, use disposable or digital menus, single serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors. 
  • Use touchless payment options as much as possible, when available. Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or card payments by placing on a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand. Clean and disinfect any pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use or customer. 
  • Use disposable food service items (utensils, dishes). If disposable items are not feasible, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher. Employees should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items 
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash and wash hands afterwards 
  • Avoid using food and beverage containers or utensils brought in by customers. 
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to employees, children, or customers. 
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water. 

Promote social distancing 

Step 1 

  • Limit service to drive-through, delivery, or curb-side pick-up options only. 
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart in lines or ask customers to wait in their cars or away from the establishment while waiting to pick up food. Post signs to inform customers of food pickup protocols. 
  • Consider installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at cash registers, or other food pickup areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult. 
  • Restrict the number of employees in shared spaces, including kitchens, break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance between people. 
  • Rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace at the same time. 

Step 2 

  • Provide drive-through, delivery, or curb-side pick-up options and prioritize outdoor seating as much as possible. 
  • Reduce occupancy and limit the size of parties dining in together to sizes that ensure that all customer parties remain at least six feet apart (e.g., all tables and bar stools six feet apart, marking tables/stools that are not for use) in order to protect staff and other guests. 
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signage on walls to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart in lines or waiting for seating. 
  • Ask customers to wait in their cars or away from the establishment while waiting to be seated. If possible, use phone app technology to alert patrons when their table is ready to avoid touching and use of “buzzers.” 
  • Consider options for dine-in customers to order ahead of time to limit the amount of time spent in the establishment. 
  • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. 
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult. 
  • Limit the number of employees in shared spaces, including kitchens, break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance between people. 

Step 3 

  • Provide drive-through, delivery, or curbside pick-up options and prioritize outdoor seating as much as possible. 
  • Consider reducing occupancy and limiting the size of parties dining in together to sizes that ensure that all customer parties remain at least six feet apart (e.g., all tables and bar stools six feet apart, marking tables/stools that are not for use) in order to protect staff and other guests. 
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signage on walls, to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart in lines or waiting for seating. 
  • If possible, use phone app technology to alert patrons when their table is ready to avoid touching and use of “buzzers.” 
  • Consider options for dine-in customers to order ahead of time to limit the amount of time spent in the establishment. 
  • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. 
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult. 

Train all staff (Steps 1-3) 

Monitoring and Preparing 

Checking for signs and symptoms (Steps 1-3)

  • Consider conducting daily health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of employees. 
  • If implementing health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide. 
  • Encourage staff who are sick to stay at home. 

Plan for when an employee becomes sick (Steps 1-3) 

  • Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at work should immediately be sent to their home. 
  • Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. 
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and customers (if possible) immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. 
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not sure them until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children. 
  • Advise sick staff members not to return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

Maintain healthy operations (Steps 1-3) 

  • Implement flexible sick leave and other flexible policies and practices, such as telework, if feasible. 
  • Monitor absenteeism of employees and create a roster of trained back-up staff. 
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees should know who this person is and how to contact them. 
  • Create and test communication systems for employees for self-reporting and notification of exposures and closures. 
  • Support coping and resilience among employees. 

Closing (Steps 1-3)

  • Check State and local health department notices about transmission in the area daily and adjust operations accordingly. 
  • Be prepared to consider closing for a few days if there is a case of COVID-19 in the establishment and for longer if cases increase in the local area. 

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR MASS TRANSIT ADMINISTRATORS

Mass transit is critical for many Americans to commute to and from work and to access essential goods and services. This guidance provides considerations for mass transit administrators to maintain healthy business operations and a safe and healthy work environment for employees, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread for both employees and passengers. Administrators should follow applicable guidance from the CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for reducing workplace exposure. All decisions about following these recommendations should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other State and local authorities who can help assess the current level of mitigation needed based on levels of COVID-19 community transmission and the capacities of the local public health and healthcare systems. CDC is releasing this interim guidance, laid out in a series of three steps, to inform a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices. The scope and nature of community mitigation suggested decreases from Step 1 to Step 3. Some amount of community mitigation is necessary across all steps until a vaccine or therapeutic drug becomes widely available. 

Resuming Full Service 

  • In all Steps: 
    • Adjust routes between areas experiencing different levels of transmission (between areas in different Steps), to the extent possible. 
    • Provide employees from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to workplaces in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa. 
    • Establish and maintain communication with State and local health officials to determine current mitigation levels in the communities served. Decisions about how and when to resume full service should be based on these levels. 
    • Follow CDC’s guidance on what bus transit operators, rail transit operators, transit maintenance workers, and transit station workers need to know about COVID-19. 
    • Consider assigning workers at high risk of severe illness duties that minimize their contact with passengers and other employees 
    • Conduct worksite hazard assessments to identify COVID-19 prevention strategies, such as appropriate use of cloth face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE), and follow the prevention strategies.
  • Step 1: Restrict ridership to essential critical infrastructure workers in areas needing significant mitigation and maintain strict social distancing as much as possible. 
  • Step 2: Maintain social distancing between transit riders and employees as much as possible. 
  • Step 3: Encourage social distancing as much as possible. 

Safety Actions 

Promote healthy hygiene practices (Steps 1-3) 

  • Enforce everyday preventive actions such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and use of a cloth face covering by employees when around others, as safety permits. Provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment as necessary and as available. Communicate with the public about the importance of hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and using cloth face coverings while using mass transportations, including posting signs in transit stations and vehicles on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering
  • Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors for transit operators, employees, and passengers in stations, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans. 
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering. 

Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation (Steps 1-3) 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (for example, kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons) at least daily or between use as feasible. 
  • Clean and disinfect the operator area between operator shifts. 
  • Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors as much as possible, when available. Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or credit cards by placing in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand and wipe any pens, counters, or hard surfaces between each use or customer. 
  • Avoid using or sharing items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected, such as disposable transit maps. 
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants. 
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash and wash hands afterwards. 
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety risk to passengers or employees, or other vulnerable individuals. 
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.

Promote social distancing 

Step 1 and Step 2 

  • Institute measures to physically separate or create distance of at least six feet between all occupants to the extent possible. This may include: o Asking bus passengers to enter and exit the bus through rear doors, while allowing exceptions for persons with disabilities. 
  • Closing every other row of seats. 
  • Reducing maximum occupancy of buses and individual subway and train cars and increasing service on crowded routes as appropriate. 
  • Provide physical guides to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart while on vehicles and at transit stations and stops. For example, floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate where passengers should not sit or stand can be used to guide passengers. 
  • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at staffed kiosks and on transit vehicles to the extent practicable. 
  • Close communal spaces, such as break rooms, if possible; otherwise, stagger use and clean and disinfect in between uses. 

Step 3 

  • Consider or continue instituting measures to physically separate or create distance between occupants. 
  • Provide physical guides to help customers maintain physical distance while on vehicles and at transit stations and stops. For example, floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate where passengers should not sit or stand can be used to guide passengers. 
  • Install or maintain physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at staffed kiosks and on transit vehicles to the extent practicable. 

Train employees (Steps 1-3) 

  • Train all employees in the above safety actions while maintaining social distancing during training. 

Monitoring and Preparing 

Checking for signs and symptoms (Steps 1-3) 

  • Consider conducting daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking) of all employees. 
  • If implementing health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide. 
  • Encourage staff who are sick to stay at home.

Plan for when an employee becomes sick (Steps 1-3)

  • Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at work should immediately be sent home. 
  • Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. 
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and customers (if possible) immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. 
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children. Affected vehicles can be used immediately after cleaning and disinfection. 
  • Advise sick staff members not to return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation
  • Implement safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have had exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 

Maintain healthy operations (Steps 1-3) 

  • Implement flexible sick leave and other flexible policies and practices, if feasible. 
  • Monitor absenteeism of employees and create a roster of trained back-up staff. 
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees and customers should know who this person is and how to contact them. 
  • Create and test communication systems for employees and customers for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures. 
  • Support coping and resilience among employees. 

Adjusting Service 

Steps 1-3 

  • Coordinate with State and local health department officials about transmission in the area as frequently as possible and adjust operations accordingly. 
  • Be prepared to consider adjusting services as appropriate if the community mitigation level increases in the local area. 
  • Continue communication with staff and the public about decision-making. 

Please find the link to download the entire CDC report and guidance HERE or on the CDC website HERE​​​​​​​

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR COMMUNITIES OF FAITH

On May 22, 2020, the CDC released additional guidance for communities of faith. Find the information below or on the CDC website HERE

CDC offers the following general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe. Millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life. For many faith traditions, gathering together for worship is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. But as Americans are now aware, gatherings present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19 during this public health emergency. CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable, and tailored to the needs and traditions of each community of faith. The information offered is non-binding public health guidance for consideration only; it is not meant to regulate or prescribe standards for interactions of faith communities in houses of worship. Any decision to modify specific religious rites, rituals, and services should be made by religious leaders.  Specific preventive actions are provided as examples only.

Scaling Up Operations

  • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community.
  • Provide protections for staff and congregants at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions) that limit their exposure risk. Offer options for congregants at higher risk of severe illness that limit their exposure risk (e.g., remote participation in services).
  • Consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, put in place policies that protect the privacy and confidentiality of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding underlying medical conditions.
  • Continue to provide congregants with spiritual and emotional care and counseling on a flexible or virtual basis or refer them to other sources for counseling and support if necessary.
  • Encourage any organizations that share or use the facilities to also follow these considerations if feasible.
  • If your community provides social services in the facility as part of its mission, consult CDC’s information for schools and businesses and workplaces, as relevant, for helpful information.

Monitoring and Preparing

Promote Healthy Hygiene Practices

  • Encourage staff and congregants to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for those who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
  • Encourage staff and congregants to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed.
  • Whenever soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.
  • Consider posting signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and promote everyday protective measures, such as washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and properly wearing a face covering.

Cloth Face Coverings

  • Encourage use of cloth face coverings among staff and congregants. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult. Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.

Intensify Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects in between uses.
  • Develop a schedule of increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected.
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep them away from children. Use products that meet EPA disinfection criteria.
  • Cleaning products should not be used near children, and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes.
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, etc. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety risk to children or adults using the facility.
  • If your faith community offers multiple services, consider scheduling services far enough apart to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces between services.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.

Promote Social Distancing

  • Take steps to limit the size of gatherings in accordance with the guidance and directives of state and local authorities.
  • Promote social distancing at services and other gatherings, ensuring that clergy, staff, choir, volunteers and attendees at the services follow social distancing throughout services, as circumstances and faith traditions allow, to lessen their risk. This may include eliminating lines or queues, if a 6-foot distance between attendees is hard to ensure. Use of cloth face coverings should be encouraged when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Consider holding services and gatherings in a large, well-ventilated area or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow.
  • Consider appropriate mitigation measures, including taking steps to limit the size of gatherings and maintaining social distancing, at other gatherings such as funerals, weddings, religious education classes, youth events, support groups and any other programming, where consistent with the faith tradition. Use of cloth face coverings should be encouraged when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or walkways and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and congregants remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times as needed (e.g. guides for creating “one-way routes” in hallways).
  • Add additional services to weekly schedules to maintain social distancing at each service if appropriate and feasible. Consider video streaming or drive-in options for services and other gatherings and meetings.
  • Consider suspending or at least decreasing use of a choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting, or reciting during services or other programming, if appropriate within the faith tradition. The act of singing may contribute to transmission of COVID-19, possibly through emission of aerosols.
  • Consider having clergy hold virtual visits (by phone or online) instead of in homes or at the hospital except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life.

Take Steps to Minimize Community Sharing of Worship Materials & Other Items

  • Consistent with the community’s faith tradition, consider temporarily limiting the sharing of frequently touched objects that cannot be easily cleaned between persons, such as worship aids, prayer rugs, prayer books, hymnals, religious texts and other bulletins, books, shared cups, or other items received, passed or shared among congregants as part of services. Seek ways to uphold customs central to the practicing of one’s faith that limit shared exposure to congregants. Consider photocopying or electronically sharing prayers, songs, and texts via e-mail or other digital technologies.
  • Modify the methods used to receive financial contributions. Consider a stationary collection box or electronic methods of collecting regular financial contributions instead of via shared collection trays or baskets.
  • Consider whether physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, hugging, or kissing) can be limited among members of the faith community.
  • If food is offered at any event, consider pre-packaged options, and avoid buffet or family-style meals if possible.

Nursery, Childcare, Youth Groups

  • If a nursery or childcare will be provided during services and events, refer to CDC’s information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in childcare settings and adapt as needed for your setting.
  • Consider virtual activities and events in lieu of in-person youth group meetings and religious education classes, as feasible. If in-person events will occur, follow considerations for other types of gatherings and use several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • If holding summer day camps, refer to CDC’s information on youth and summer camps and adapt as needed.

Staffing and Training

  • Train all clergy and staff in the above safety actions. Consider conducting the training virtually, or, if in-person, ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Safety Actions

Check for Signs and Symptoms

  • Encourage staff or congregants who are sick or who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home. Share CDC’s criteria for staying home with staff and congregants so that they know how to care for themselves and others. Consider posting signs at entrances with this information.

Plan for When a Staff Member or Congregant Becomes Sick

  • Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms during hours of operation until they can be safely transported to their home or a healthcare facility. Ensure that children are not left without adult supervision.
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone who becomes sick at the facility to their home or a healthcare facility.
  • Notify local health officials if a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the facility and communicate with staff and congregants about potential exposure while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other applicable laws and in accordance with religious practices.
  • Advise those with exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • Close off areas used by the sick person and do not use the area until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.
  • Advise staff and congregants with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive for COVID-19 not to return to the facility until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

Maintain Healthy Operations

  • Implement flexible sick leave and related flexible policies and practices for staff (e.g., allow work from home, if feasible), and provide requested reasonable accommodation absent undue hardship to individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other applicable laws and in accordance with religious practices.
  • Monitor absenteeism and create a roster of trained back-up staff.
  • Designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Staff, clergy, volunteers, and congregants should know who this person is and how to contact them if they become sick or are around others diagnosed with COVID-19. This person should also be aware of state or local regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings and other applicable state and local public health guidance and directives.
  • As volunteers often perform important duties (e.g., greeters, ushers, childcare), consider similar monitoring, planning, and training for them. Consider that volunteer and staffing may need to increase to implement cleaning and safety protocols and to accommodate additional services with reduced attendance.
  • Communicate clearly with staff and congregants about actions being taken to protect their health.
  • Encourage any organizations that share or use the facilities to also follow these considerations. If your community provides social services in the facility as part of its mission, consult CDC’s information for schools and businesses and workplaces, as relevant, for helpful information.

Signs and Messages

Support Coping and Resilience

  • Continue to provide congregants with spiritual and emotional care and counseling on a flexible or virtual basis or refer them to other sources for counseling and support.

Closing

  • Check State and local health department notices daily about transmission in the community and adjust operations
  • In the event a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, it is strongly suggested to dismiss attendees, then properly clean and disinfect the area and the building where the individual was present before resuming activities. Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

FOR INDIVIDUALS: VENTURING OUT? BE PREPARED AND STAY SAFE

On June 12, 2020, the CDC released additional guidance for individuals deciding whether to venture out or not, and how to do it safely. Find the information below or on the CDC website HERE

As communities and businesses are opening, you may be looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possible. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, if you have COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people. When you can leave home and be around others depends on different factors for different situations. Follow CDC’s recommendations for your circumstances.

In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:

  • How many people will you interact with?
    • Interacting with more people raises your risk.
    • Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk.
    • Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk.
    • Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others? Will you be outdoors or indoors?
    • The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
    • Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
    • Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
  • What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?
    • Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
    • Spending more time with people increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected.

What to Consider Before You Go:

Asking these questions can help determine your level of risk:

  1. Is COVID-19 spreading in my community?

  1. What are the local orders in my community?

  • Review updates from your local health department to better understand the situation in your community and what local orders are in place in your community. Also find out about school closures, business re-openings, and stay-at-home orders in your state.

  1. Will my activity put me in close contact with others?

  • Practice social distancing because COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with others.

    • It’s important that you and the people around you wear a cloth face covering when in public and particularly when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet away from others consistently.

    • Choose outdoor activities and places where it’s easy to stay 6 feet apart, like parks and open-air facilities.

    • Look for physical barriers, like plexiglass screens or modified layouts, that help you keep your distance from others.

    • Use visual reminders—like signs, chair arrangements, markings on the floor, or arrows—to help remind you to keep your distance from others.

  1. Am I at risk for severe illness?

  • Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. While the risk for severe illness is lower for others, everyone faces some risk of illness. Some people have no symptoms, others have mild symptoms, and some get severely ill.

  1. Do I live with someone who is at risk for severe illness?

  1. Do I practice everyday preventive actions?

  1. Will I have to share any items, equipment, or tools with other people?

  • Choose places where there is limited sharing of items and where any items that are shared are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.  You can also choose to visit places that share, post, or announce that they have increased cleaning and disinfection to protect others from COVID-19.

  1. Will I need to take public transportation to get to the activity?

  1. Does my activity require travel to another community?

  1. If I get sick with COVID-19, will I have to miss work or school? 

  • If you are sick with COVID-19, stay home. Also find out about your work or school’s telework or sick leave policy.

  1. Do I know what to do if I get sick?

If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions. If you will be running an errand, follow CDC’s running errands considerations.

Items to have on hand

  • A cloth face covering
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to do activities?

  • The risk of an activity depends on many factors, such as:
    • Is COVID-19 is spreading in your community?
    • Will you have a potential close contact with someone who is sick or anyone who is not wearing a face covering (and may be asymptomatic)?
    • Are you at increased risk of severe illness?
    • Do you take everyday actions to protect yourself from COVID-19?
  • CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community. That’s why it’s important for you to consider your own personal situation and the risk for you, your family, and your community before venturing out.

What activities are safer?

Activities are safer if you can maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and others, because COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other. Indoor spaces with less ventilation where it might be harder to keep people apart are more risky than outdoor spaces. Interacting without wearing cloth face coverings also increases your risk.

Venturing Out? Be Prepared and Stay Safe

Consider these tips to keep you and others safe when you venture out.

Going to the Bank

  • Ask about options for telephone or virtual meetings to use banking services.
  • Use drive-thru banking services, automated teller machines (ATM), or mobile banking apps for routine transactions that do not require face-to-face assistance as much as possible.
  • Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the bank, such as plexiglass barriers for tellers or bankers, staff wearing cloth face coverings, or physical distancing signs in the lobby.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when doing any in-person exchanges and unable to stay at least 6 feet apart from other people – and make sure that bank employees and other people inside the bank are also wearing cloth face coverings.
  • Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after any deposit, withdrawal, exchange, drive-thru visit, or use of an ATM.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly when you arrive home or to your destination where a restroom is available.

Dining at a Restaurant

  • Check the restaurant’s website and social media to see if they have updated their information to address any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Before you go to the restaurant, call and ask if all staff are wearing cloth face coverings while at work.
  • Wear cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
  • Take precautions – like wearing a cloth face covering as much as possible when not eating and maintaining a proper social distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.
  • Ask about options for self-parking to remove the need for a valet service.
  • Maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more in any entryway, hallway, or waiting area.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from other people.
  • When possible, choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.
  • Before using the restroom, make sure there is adequate soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Hosting Gatherings or Cook-Outs

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
  • Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.
  • Wear cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.
  • Consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.
  • Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.
  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
  • If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.
  • Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
  • Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
  • Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.

Using Gyms and Fitness Centers

  • Use options for online reservations and check-in systems when available.
  • Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the facility, such as new plexiglass barriers, staff wearing cloth face coverings, and closing of shared locker room space.
  • Seek facilities with outdoor space or options for virtual classes and training sessions as much as possible.
  • Limit attendance at indoor group training sessions.  If you do attend such a session, maintain as much distance as possible between yourself and other individuals, and use cloth face coverings if they do not interfere with your activity. If you need to be indoors, open windows to increase airflow throughout the space.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of separation as much as possible in areas that may lead to close contact (within 6 feet) among other people, such as weight rooms, group fitness studios, pools and saunas, courts and fields, walking/running tracks, locker rooms, check-in areas, parking lots, and routes of entry and exit.
  • Ensure equipment is clean and disinfected. Wipe down machines and equipment with disinfecting wipes and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol before using machines.
  • Do not share items that cannot be cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected between use, such as resistance bands and weightlifting belts.
  • Don’t shake hands, give high-fives, do elbow bumps, or touch others because close contact increases the risk of acquiring COVID-19.
  • Be prepared that locker room access may be limited to the restroom area only, prohibiting the use of showers and changing areas.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when interacting with other people to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
    • Wearing cloth face coverings is most important when physical distancing is difficult and when exercise type and intensity allows. Consider doing any vigorous-intensity exercise outside when possible and stay at least 6 feet away from other participants, trainers, and clients if unable to wear a face covering.
    • If possible, wear a face covering when walking on an indoor track or when doing stretching or low-intensity forms of yoga indoors.
    • Wash your hands before adjusting your face covering—review information about proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.

Going to Nail Salons

  • Book services in advance to remove the need for waiting in a lobby with other people. If you must wait, maintain social distance.
  • Before you go, call and ask if all staff are wearing cloth face coverings at work and if there are physical barriers to minimize risk of transmission (e.g., plexiglass barriers).
  • If offered by the salon, wait in your car or outside until you can be contacted by mobile phone when it is your turn to be seen for an appointment.
  • Wear a cloth face covering at all times when inside the salon.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before receiving your service and after touching any common surfaces like curing lamps, countertops, doorknobs, toilets, tables, light switches, phones, faucets, sinks, and keyboards.
  • Use cashless payment options when possible. If not available, ensure that cash and cards are handled with care by employees either by changing gloves between each transaction or with use of hand sanitizer between clients.
  • Look for no-touch waste baskets at the cash registers and in the restrooms.

Visiting Libraries

  • Use online reservation and advance-order checkout systems, if possible.
  • Choose digital over print materials, if possible.
  • Request a curbside pick-up if available and use cloth face coverings during pick-up exchanges.
  • Wash your hands before and after exchanges.
  • Clean and disinfect electronics (laptops) and library materials in plastic containers (CDs, audio books) during returns and/or exchanges.
  • If allowed and available inside the library, use computer stations one person at a time. Ensure they are cleaned before use and use a disinfectant wipe on the mouse and keyboard.

Traveling Overnight

  • Use options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment.
  • Before you go, call and ask if all staff are wearing cloth face coverings at work.
  • Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby.
  • Ask if the hotel has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, business center computers and printers, ice/vending machines, and remote controls).
  • Wear a cloth face covering in the lobby or other common areas.
  • Minimize use of areas that may lead to close contact (within 6 feet) with other people as much as possible, like break rooms, outside patios, inside lounging areas, dining areas/kitchens, game rooms, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spas, salons, and fitness centers.
  • Request contactless delivery for any room service order.
  • Consider taking the stairs. Otherwise wait to use the elevator until you can either ride alone or only with people from your household.
  • If you are considering cleaning your travel lodgings, see CDC’s guidance on how to clean and disinfect.
  • Visit CDC’s travel website for more information when planning trips.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR EVENTS AND GATHERINGS

On June 12, 2020, the CDC released additional guidance for events and gatherings. Find the information below or on the CDC website HERE

As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers the following considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Because COVID-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.

Guiding Principles

  • A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.
  • The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.
  • The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.
  • The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Targeting COVID-19’s Spread

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may also spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose, mouth or eyes, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a cloth face covering) and environmental prevention practices (such as cleaning and disinfection) are important ways to prevent the virus’s spread.

These prevention principles are covered in this document. They provide event planners and individuals with actions to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during gatherings and events.

Promoting Healthy Behaviors that Reduce Spread

Event planners should consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among staff and attendees.

  • Staying Home when Appropriate 
  • Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 
    • Require frequent employee handwashing (e.g., before, during, and after taking tickets; after touching garbage) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, employees can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.
    • Encourage staff to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Encourage attendees to wash hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.
    • Attendees often exchange handshakes, fist bumps, and high-fives at meetings and sporting events. Display signs (physical and/or electronic) that discourage these actions during the event.
  • Cloth Face Coverings  
    • Require the use of cloth face coverings among staff. Cloth face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., when moving within a crowd or audience).
    • Provide all staff with information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
    • Advise staff that cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
      • Babies or children younger than 2 years old
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing
      • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
    • Encourage attendees ahead of the event to bring and use cloth face coverings at the event.
    • Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators. They are not personal protective equipment.
    • Cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice (e.g., shouting, chanting, singing).
  • Adequate Supplies  
    • Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors. Supplies include soap, water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible), and no-touch trash cans.
  • Signs and Messages 

Maintaining Healthy Environments

Event planners should consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy environments.

  • Cleaning and Disinfection 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the venue at least daily or between uses as much as possible—for example, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings, and cash registers.
    • Clean and disinfect shared objects between uses—for example, payment terminals, tables, countertops, bars, and condiment holders.
    • Consider closing areas such as drinking fountains that cannot be adequately cleaned and disinfected during an event.
    • Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
    • Plan for and enact these cleaning routines when renting event space and ensure that other groups who may use your facilities follow these routines.
    • If transport vehicles like buses are used by the event staff, drivers should practice all safety actions and protocols as indicated for other staff—for example, washing hands often and wearing cloth face coverings and maintaining social distance of bus riders. To clean and disinfect event buses, vans, or other vehicles see guidance for bus transit operators and drivers for hire, and adapt as needed.
    • Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants to avoid harm to employees and other individuals. Always read and follow label instructions for each product, and store products securely away from children.
    • Use EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19.
    • Cleaning products should not be used near children. Staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent attendees or themselves from inhaling toxic vapors.
    • Use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash.
      • After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can.
      • Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
      • Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Restrooms
    • Consider limiting the number of people who occupy the restroom at one time to allow for social distancing.
    • Do not allow lines or crowds to form near the restroom without maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people. It may be helpful to post signs or markers to help attendees maintain the appropriate social distance of at least 6 feet.
    • Ensure that open restrooms are:
      • Operational with functional toilets.
      • Cleaned and disinfected regularly, particularly high-touch surfaces such as faucets, toilets, stall doors, doorknobs, countertops, diaper changing tables, and light switches.
        • Clean and disinfect restrooms daily or more often, if possible, with EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19.
        • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep products away from children.
    • Adequately stocked with supplies for handwashing, including soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
    • If you are providing portable toilets, also provide portable handwashing stations and ensure that they remain stocked throughout the duration of the event. If possible, provide hand sanitizer stations that are touch-free.
  • Ventilation 
    • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example, by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to staff or attendees (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms).
    • If portable ventilation equipment like fans are used, take steps to minimize air from them blowing from one person directly at another person to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses.
  • Water Systems 
    • To minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water, take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown. Drinking fountains should be cleaned and sanitized, but encourage staff and attendees to bring their own water, as feasible, to minimize touching and use of water fountains.
  • Modified Layouts 
    • Limit attendance or seating capacity to allow for social distancing, or host smaller events in larger rooms.
    • Use multiple entrances and exits and discourage crowded waiting areas.
    • Block off rows or sections of seating in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.
    • Eliminate lines or queues if possible or encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks.
    • Prioritize outdoor activities where social distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
    • Offer online attendance options in addition to in-person attendance to help reduce the number of attendees.
  • Physical Barriers and Guides 
    • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g., guides for creating one-way routes).
    • Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart. Barriers can be useful at cash registers and other areas where maintaining physical distance of 6 feet is difficult.
    • Change seating layout or availability of seating so that people can remain least 6 feet apart.
  • Communal Spaces 
    • Stagger use of shared indoor spaces such as dining halls, game rooms, and lounges as much as possible and clean and disinfect them between uses.
    • Add physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, between bathroom sinks and beds, especially when they cannot be at least 6 feet apart.
    • Clean and disinfect bathrooms regularly (e.g., in the morning and evening or after times of heavy use) using EPA-registered disinfectants.
    • For more information on communal spaces in event housing (e.g., laundry rooms, shared bathrooms, and recreation areas) follow CDC’s guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing.
  • Food Service
    • There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas can pose a risk.
    • If the event includes food service, refer to CDC’s COVID-19 considerations for restaurants and bars.
    • Use touchless payment options as much as possible, if available.
    • Ask customers and employees to exchange cash or card payments by placing them on a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand to avoid direct hand-to-hand contact.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use and encourage patrons to use their own pens.
    • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart when waiting in line to order or pick up.
    • If a cafeteria or group dining room is used, serve individually plated meals or grab-and-go options, and hold activities in separate areas.
    • Use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes. If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
    • Individuals should wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
    • Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Consider having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.
  • Shared Objects 
    • Discourage people from sharing items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
    • Limit any sharing of food, tools, equipment, or supplies by staff members.
    • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible; otherwise, limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of staff members or attendees at a time, and clean and disinfect them between use.

Maintaining Healthy Operations

Event organizers and staff may consider implementing several strategies to maintain healthy operations.

  • Regulatory Awareness
    • Be aware of local or state regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings to determine if events can be held.
  • Protections for Staff and Attendees who are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19
    • Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions) that limit their exposure risk. For example:
      • Offer telework and modified job responsibilities for staff, such as setting up for the event rather than working at the registration desk.
      • Replace in-person meetings with video- or tele-conference calls whenever possible.
    • As feasible, offer options for attendees at higher risk for severe illness that limit their exposure risk (e.g., virtual attendance).
    • Consider limiting event attendance to staff and guests who live in the local area (e.g., community, city, town, or county) to reduce risk of spreading the virus from areas with higher levels of COVID-19. If attendance is open to staff and guests from other communities, cities, towns or counties, provide information to attendees so they can make an informed decision about participation.
    • Put policies in place to protect the privacy of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding their underlying medical conditions.
  • Limited, Staggered, or Rotated Shifts and Attendance Times
    • Consider ways to significantly reduce the number of attendees.
    • Use flexible worksites (e.g., telework) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) to help establish policies and practices for social distancing of 6 feet between employees, volunteers, and others.
    • Rotate or stagger shifts and arrival times to limit the number of employees in a venue at the same time.
    • Stagger and limit attendance times to minimize the number of guests at the venue.
  • Travel & Transit
    • Encourage employees to use transportation options that minimize close contact with others (e.g., walking or biking, driving or riding by car – alone or with household members only). Consider offering the following support:
    • Reconfigure parking lots to limit congregation points and ensure proper separation of employees (e.g., closing every other parking space).
    • Encourage rideshare drivers to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the vehicle and avoid providing pooled rides or picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be riding together on the same route.
  • Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact 
    • Designate an administrator or office to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All staff and attendees should know who this person or office is and how to contact them.
  • Communication Systems 
    • Put systems in place to:
      • Encourage staff and attendees to self-report to event officials or a COVID-19 point of contact if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, in accordance with health information sharing regulations for COVID-19 (e.g., see “Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts” in the Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick section below), and other applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
      • Advise attendees prior to the event or gathering that they should not attend if they have symptoms of, a positive test for, or were recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19.
      • Notify staff, attendees, and the public of cancellations and restrictions in place to limit people’s exposure to COVID-19 (e.g., limited hours of operation).
      • Identify and address potential language, cultural, and disability barriers associated with communicating COVID-19 information to event staff and participants. Tailor information so that it is easily understood by various audiences and is available in alternative formats and languages.
      • Learn more about reaching people of diverse languages and cultures by visiting: Know Your Audience. You also can learn more about communicating to staff in a crisis at: Crisis Communications Plan
  • Leave (Time Off) Policies 
    • Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices that are not punitive and enable employees to stay home when they are sick, have been exposed, are caring for someone who is sick, or who must stay home with children if schools or child care centers are closed.
    • Examine and revise policies for leave, telework, and employee compensation as needed.
    • Ensure that any relevant policies are communicated to staff.
  • Back-Up Staffing Plan 
    • Monitor absenteeism of employees, cross-train staff, and create a roster of trained back-up staff.
    • Develop policies for return-to-work and event facilities after an employee has COVID-19. CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation and quarantine can inform these policies.
  • Staff Training
    • Train staff on all safety protocols. Consider using CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers as a guide.
    • Conduct training virtually to ensure that social distancing is maintained during training.
    • If training needs to be done in person, maintain social distancing. Virtual training is clearly better for infection control when feasible.
  • Recognize Signs and Symptoms 
    • If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking) of staff and attendees safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
    • Event administrators may consider using examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide.
  • Sharing Facilities  
    • Encourage any organizations that share or use the same venue to also follow these considerations and limit shared use, if possible.
  • Support Coping and Resilience 
    • Promote employees’ ability to eat healthy foods, exercise, get enough sleep, and find time to unwind.
    • Encourage employees to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
    • Consider posting signs for the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUsto 66746; The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224; and The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Lessons Learned After the Event
    • Meet with the emergency operations coordinator or planning team for your venue to discuss and note lessons learned.
    • Determine ways to improve planning and implementation processes if the event will happen again.
    • Update your plans regularly according to the state and local situation and orders.

Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick

Event planners should consider several strategies to implement when someone gets sick.

  • Advise Sick Individuals of Home Isolation Criteria
  • Isolate and Transport Those Who are Sick 
  • Clean and Disinfect
    • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).
    • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.
  • Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts 

OTHER WHITE HOUSE AND CDC GUIDANCE:

The White House, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released guidelines for "Opening Up America Again" on April 16.

The White House released the Opening Up America Again Testing Overview and Testing Blueprint on April 27, which includes guidance for states on expanding and implementing COVID-19 testing.

The CDC has issued guidances for the general public, workplaces, health care providers, health departments, pregnant women and children, travelers, and others. CDC has also recommended that all Americans wear nonmedical cloth masks when in public settings where 6-foot social distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores).

FDA GUIDANCE ON PPE AND SANITATION PRODUCTS

On May 22, 2020, the FDA announced an update on PPE Prioritization and Procurement of such Items, including Sanitation Products. Below you will find a summary.

Prioritization Recommendations:

As PPE, cloth face coverings, disinfectants, and sanitation supplies become available, it is highly encouraged that available supplies be distributed with first priority to the following industries: 

  1. Hospitals, healthcare, long-term care, retirement homes, hospice, and other healthcare-providing establishments and the emergency responder community.

  2. The Food and Agriculture Sector (as well as the other Critical Infrastructure Sectors), including food manufacturers/producers, suppliers of agricultural inputs and facilities that store, process and/or market agricultural products, grocery stores, food retail, food service, and food storage and distribution.

Sourcing of PPE, Cloth Face Coverings, Disinfectants, and Sanitation Supplies

Sector entities can apply the following considerations when attempting to source supplies:

  • Continue working with normal and alternate private-sector suppliers to obtain PPE, cloth face coverings, disinfectants, and sanitation supplies. It may be necessary to identify multiple options for suppliers and prioritize near-term versus long-term needs.
  • If suppliers are unable to provide for your needs, and the PPE and/or cloth face coverings are urgently required, submit a request for assistance to your state emergency management agencies. If the state is unable to address the PPE and/or cloth face covering shortfall, the state should submit a request for support to their FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center.

Any requests to state or federal agencies for urgent resupply of PPE for essential critical infrastructure workers should accurately describe:

  • specific types, quantities (include 30-, 60- and 90-day demand), and locations where PPE is needed;
  • estimated time until the shortage impacts operations based on PPE burn rate; and
  • consequence of the shortage on the supply of food, agricultural commodities or agricultural inputs, and anticipated duration of its impact.

To further support these requests, you may also describe how the request helps you to:

  • comply with worker safety and health laws, regulations or guidance (including those issued by OSHA); and
  • abide by Federal, State, and Local requirements or recommendations to ensure food safety or evolving consumer/employee confidence guidance for COVID-19.

When ordering PPE, cloth face coverings, disinfectants, and/or sanitation supplies, Sector entities can:

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Federal coronavirus-response legislation: click HERE.

Specific actions Kyrsten is taking on behalf of Arizona: click HERE.

Visit our main resources page: sinema.senate.gov/corona.