MIDDLEBOROUGH — Town Manager Robert Nunes and Health Officer Robert Buker would like to share the newest state guidelines for local business owners who will be planning to reopen their businesses.
On Monday, May 18, Gov. Baker announced the first stage of the state’s reopening plan. The plan will allow some industries to reopen immediately and others on Monday, May 25. All industries allowed to reopen will need to adhere to heavy restrictions.
“While business owners begin to plan for their businesses and workplaces reopening, we would like to stress the importance of following proper health guidelines,” said Town Manager Nunes. “At any instance Massachusetts may revert back to only essential businesses being open if health metrics show an increase in COVID-19 cases, therefore we would like to reiterate that all businesses must follow the proper protocols set forth by the first phase of Governor Baker’s reopening plan.”
Business owners who plan on reopening under Governor Baker’s new order are required to adhere to a new set of standards that will apply universally to all workplaces and are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers.
All set standards should be supplemented by sector-specific safety protocols and recommended best practices. Sector-specific standards are forthcoming and will be announced by state officials.
Mandatory Safety Standards for the Workplace
Those who wish to reopen their businesses under Phase 1 must abide by the following safety standard protocols set forth by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center for workplaces.
- Everyone inside a workplace establishment, including employees, customers and vendors, must remain six feet apart. Businesses should provide work place protocols and signage for safe social distancing and wear face coverings.
- All employees should follow basic hygiene recommendations. Frequent hand washing should be practiced and the workplace should conduct regular sanitization of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, etc.
- All employees should be trained in social distancing and hygiene protocols. Anyone found to be sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19 SHOULD NOT report to work and plans should be set into place for if illnesses occur.
- Lastly, business shall establish and maintain a cleaning and disinfecting protocol specific to their industry. Cleaning and disinfecting must be performed after a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Before a business reopens business owners must develop a written control plan outlining how the workplace will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period. While the control plans do not need to be submitted for approval, they must be kept on the premise and made available during an inspection or outbreak. The control plan template may be found online here.
In addition to the COVID-19 Control Plan template, businesses must complete and sign the following checklist, and display the checklist in an area within the business premises that is visible to employees and visitors.
Purchasing Hygienic or Protective Supplies for the Workplace
To return to work, businesses must require masks and coverings for all employees, provide hand washing supplies and capabilities and sanitize high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout the work site.
Hygienic and protective supplies can be found through vendors here. Those who are manufacturer’s of hygienic and protective supplies and wish to be added to the vendor list can do so by contacting the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team here.
Additional restrictions may be implemented for specific businesses, types of businesses or municipalities in order to prevent local outbreaks from spreading. This information will be shared when it becomes available by state officials.
Industry-Specific Reopening Eligibility and Dates
Industries eligible to reopen on May 18 and the industry-specific restrictions that they must follow are:
- Construction sites
- Manufacturing sites
- Places of worship, where occupancy will be limited to 40 percent of the building’s maximum permitted capacity.
Industries eligible to reopen on May 25 and the industry-specific restrictions that they must follow are:
- Office spaces, where occupancy will be limited to 25 percent of the maximum occupancy level or of the organization’s typical occupancy as of March 1, 2020. This excludes Boston offices, which will reopen with the same restrictions on Monday, June 1.
- Hair salons and barber shops
- Car washes
- Pet groomers
- Retail businesses for remote fulfillment and curbside pickup only.
- Outdoor recreational activities and businesses, such as beaches, parks, campgrounds, outdoor gardens, drive-in movie theaters and zoos.
Download and Print Mandatory Flyers