Steps to Reopening a Business After Quarantine

A store reopening for business after quarantine.With the ongoing, country-wide discussions of phased reopenings, businesses are chomping at the bit to return to work. However, it’s important to recognize that even when you’re permitted to open your doors, it’s not going to be “business as usual.” The safety of you, your employees, and your customers depend on the precautions you take before and after opening. Follow our advice to offer appropriate protection when reopening your business after quarantine.

Know Your State’s Reopening Guidelines

Each state has more or less been given the reins to their reopening guidelines. It’s important you look into local COVID-19 regulations to ensure you are not infringing on any ordinances. You should recognize that your business will not be able to begin full operations, and you’ll likely have to start with a skeleton crew or a staggered approach to shifts. In Massachusetts, Gov. Baker has announced a detailed four-phase approach to reopening, but each state is approaching this process differently.

Inspect Your Business Premises

Your building has likely been vacant for quite some time, so it’s important to ensure your building is safe for employees to reenter. Some precautionary steps you should take include:

  • Inspect for signs of rodent and pest infestation.
  • Run a water system test to ensure there isn’t a buildup of water-borne bacteria.
  • Inspect machinery, the HVAC system, and other equipment to make sure they’re functioning.
  • Check the fire alarm system.

It’s recommended to designate a point person or contractor to cover these responsibilities to limit exposure to any potentially hazardous conditions, and if there is damage found, be sure to notify the business insurance provider.

Prioritize Health and Safety

Your employees’ and customers’ health and safety are of utmost concern. The pandemic is here for the long haul, so you must take all precautions when conducting business. A few of your priorities upon opening should include:

  • Encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  • Providing employees access to proper personal protective equipment.
  • Educating and training employees on proper COVID-19 risk prevention.

This will require a joint effort between you and your staff, but it’s essential to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

Reconfigure and Update the Business Space

In addition to increasing your staff’s health and safety practices, you should also perform workspace maintenance and installations to further decrease the chance of contamination. Some methods to create a healthier environment include:

  • Installing barriers or sneeze guards anywhere people need to meet face-to-face.
  • Replacing your vents with high-efficiency air filters and increasing the ventilation rate.
  • Setting up a drive-through window or delivery option for customer service requirements.
  • Reorganizing the floor plan to increase the space between desks to at least 6 feet.
  • Getting rid of common gathering areas and limiting breakroom occupancy.
  • Creating hand sanitation stations.

Take extra steps to ensure proper installation of these methods to protect your business from liability. Bear in mind, before making changes, you should also contact your insurer to see how they may impact your insurance. For more tips on how to properly prepare the business space for occupancy, read the CDC’s Reopening Guidance.

As the owner of your business, it’s on you to ensure the safety of your staff and customers. By following these precautions when reopening your business after quarantine, you can limit the transference of COVID-19. While you adjust to this new normal, TJ Woods Insurance can ensure you’re equipped with the appropriate business insurance and keep you up to date on COVID-19’s impact on insurance policies. If you would like information on how to strengthen your business’s COVID-19 response or wish to discuss your insurance options, contact us today.