NOTE: The following information is intended to help businesses understand guidance provided by Memphis and Shelby County public and health officials for Phase 1 of Reopening Framework.
For an overview of which businesses can reopen during Phase 1, click here.
For full details of phased reopening guidance, visit the Shelby County Health Department’s website at http://www.shelbytnhealth.com and https://backtobusiness.memphistn.gov.
The following overview provides considerations for employers as they prepare their workplaces for repopulation. This information should not be considered legal guidance and may not apply to all employers and workplaces.
Prior to repopulating your workspace, businesses should prepare the work environment using a series of steps to help reduce introduction and transmission of COVID-19.
The first step in preparing for reopening should be to conduct a thorough evaluation of your work environment. If you have a floor plan of your space, use it as a map to outline work stations and occupancy for each space, including conference rooms. If you do not have a floor plan of your office, conduct a walk thru to note number of work stations and seating capacity in each space.
CONSIDERATION: For high traffic areas, consider establishing a traffic pattern plan to circulate movement in only one direction within your work place. Communicate the traffic pattern to guests and employees. Use signage or tape on the floor to remind employees and guests of traffic patterns.
The second step in preparing to the workspace for repopulation is to create a New Normal Capacity strategy to ensure social and physical distancing can happen within the work environment.
Note of Existing verses ‘New Normal’ capacity changes to be made.
For most businesses, capacity reduction and spacing will be critical to create a safe environment for work. When possible, move employees to individual workspaces within enclosed spaces with safe ventilation to best reduce introduction and transmission opportunities.
CONSIDERATION: For conference rooms and meeting spaces, determine the total allowed capacity for the space by taking the original seating capacity (not standing room) and reduce by at least 50 percent. Post the New Normal allowed capacity maximum for each conference and meeting area inside your workplace.
In advance of reopening, take the following additional steps before repopulating the workplace.
CDC Guidance on Facility Cleaning Prior to Reopening can be found here.
Signs should explain that the business is compliant with Health Department’s safety measures and that people should:
1. Avoid entering a public facility if they have a cough, fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.
2. Maintain a distance of at least six feet between individuals from people who are not members of the same household.
3. Engage in respiratory etiquette, including covering up coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues.
4. Do not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.
Example signage can be found here.
Free Signage Resources from the State of Tennessee can be found here.
For more resources and information related to building a resilient business post-COVID-19, visit the Greater Memphis Business Resource Center at www.memphischamber/covid19
Disclaimer: Some or all of the information contained in this overview may not be applicable to some businesses and may not include all necessary information for certain types of businesses. This guide does not attempt to address any health, safety or other work place requirements that were in place prior to March 2020 and the Safer at Home order for Memphis and Shelby County. As current circumstances continue to evolve, public health and safety recommendations, requirements and best practices will continue to evolve as well. To that end, this guide may not include the most recent governmental or health recommendations and requirements. We advise employers to carefully evaluate your environment and circumstances and consult with your own legal counsel and advisors regarding the legality applicability and value of this information in your specific place of business prior to implementing any of the guidance outlined in this document.
The Greater Memphis Chamber bears no responsibility for any circumstances or situations that arise out of or related to the adoption or decision not to adopt any of the recommendations, procedures or best practices referenced in this guide.
Have a question about reopening or restarting your business? Let us know.