As there is a gradual shift to lift mandatory shutdowns and restrictions, businesses are being allowed to reopen with new sets of guidelines and restrictions. While the specific rules will vary by county and state, we have prepared some general tips on reopening. 

  1. Disaster Planning & Responsecreating clear, actionable plans before any event will ensure assets and residents are protected, minimize property damage, and jump-start the recovery process.  An effective preparedness and response plan should include critical action steps addressing specific activities before, during, and after a disaster. Document your plan and distribute to all employees.  
  1. Cleaning/Sanitizing/Disinfecting: It is recommended to follow the CDC recommended cleaning guidelines to clean, sanitize and disinfect your business.  Consider training staff on proper cleaning, monitoring and enforcing all new rules.  When hiring an outside cleaning company, be sure to check their credentials and references.  Do not pay large lump sums up front.   Reference the EPA cleaning products guide when purchasing cleaning products for your facility. 
  1. Staffing: Employee and visitor safety is the priority.  When bringing back staff, decisions must be made based legitimate business reasons without any discriminating factors.  
  • Review OSHA Guidelines 
  • Taking temperatures of employees and visitors  
  • Training staff to recognize COVID symptoms  
  • Utilize a health questionnaire 
  • Maintaining social distancing  
  • Requiring COVID and Antibody testing 
  • Encourage employees to have both the seasonal flu vaccine and or the COVID-19 vaccine when available. 
  1. Documenting:  Regardless of potential recovery avenues for COVID-19 expenses, whether it be through potential insurance, federal or state grants or contract disputes businesses and organizations - large or small – should start calculating and documenting their losses in a professional, clear manner. 

Examples:  

  • Take photos of all signage post in your facility for both employees and customers/visitors 
  • Track any outside cleaning costs 
  • Track additional supplies purchased: PPE, cleaning supplies, hand washing stations/hand sanitizing stations 
  • Track additional employee time for temperature checks and preparing the proper PPE 
  • Track down time for employees during additional cleaning “breaks” if employees are not participating in the cleaning. 

The opinions above do not constitute legal advice or risk management advice. The views are for education purposes only.  Please consult with your legal team and or risk management professional for guidance on your specific business concerns regarding reopening.   

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Please be advised that any and all information, comments, analysis, and/or recommendations set forth above relative to the possible impact of COVID-19 on potential insurance coverage or other policy implications are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. As an insurance broker, we have no authority to make coverage decisions as that ability rests solely with the issuing carrier. Therefore, all claims should be submitted to the carrier for evaluation. The positions expressed herein are opinions only and are not to be construed as any form of guarantee or warrantee. Finally, given the extremely dynamic and rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, comments above do not take into account any applicable pending or future legislation introduced with the intent to override, alter or amend current policy language.