COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE
A business’s COVID-19 Response Plan shall establish and explain the policies, practices and conditions necessary to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines for COVID-19, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to employee and customer – if the business has customer-facing operations – exposure to COVID-19. The plan should have the strong commitment of management and be developed and implemented with the participation of workers.
Your COVID-19 Response Plan must include and describe how your business will implement, at a minimum, the following, in compliance with the guidelines and standards outlined by The Office of California Governor Newsom (listed below).
The Office of California Governor Newsom has outlined these 5 steps for facilities to consider before reopening:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols
- Implement physical distancing guidance
The Office of California Governor Newsom has also asked facilities to implement strategies to reduce the risk of spread based on industry-specific methods. Below are several examples:
- Retailers should increase pickup and delivery service options and encourage physical distancing during pickup – like loading items directly into a customer’s trunk or leaving items at their door.
- Retailers should install hands-free devices, if possible, including motion sensor lights, contactless payment systems, automatic soap and paper towel dispensers, and timecard systems.
- Manufacturing companies should close breakrooms, use barriers, or increase distance between tables/chairs to separate employees and discourage congregating during breaks. Where possible, create outdoor break areas with shade covers and seating that ensures physical distancing.
- Warehouses should minimize transaction time between warehouse employees and transportation personnel. Perform gate check-ins and paperwork digitally if feasible.
- Warehouse employees should clean delivery vehicles and equipment before and after delivery, carry additional sanitation materials during deliveries, and use clean personal protective equipment for each delivery stop.
This document is template for a COVID-19 Response Plan that includes the criteria listed above and is developed to fit the potential needs of different types of businesses. If you opt to use this template, you must adapt it to fit the specific needs of your business while ensuring it meets the minimum requirements set out above.
COVID-19 Response Plan for [Company Name]
[Company name] is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our employees [and customers]. To ensure we have as safe and healthy workplace, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and employees are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our employees [and] management [and customers]. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our employees and workplaces.
Management and employee are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this COVID-19 Response Plan. [Company name] managers and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.
Our employees are our most important assets. We take matters of our employees’ safety and health with the utmost priority.
We understand that employee involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Response Plan. We have involved our employee in this process by [Describe how worker concerns have been addressed, how worker suggestions and feedback have been requested, and how such suggestions have been integrated into developing the plan]. Our COVID-19 Response Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:
- hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
- engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
- cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination and ventilation;
- prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- communications and training that will be provided to managers and employees; and
- management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
[If you are a retail business or retail mall, include the following in the bulleted list above.]
- protection and controls for pick-up, drop-off and delivery;
- protections and controls for in-store shopping;
- protections and controls for shopping malls; and
- communications and instructions for customers.
Screening and Policies for Employees Exhibiting Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
Employees have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess employees’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms. [Describe how you will address health screening, how employees will communicate with the business if they are sick or experiencing symptoms while at home, how employees report they are sick or experiencing symptoms while at work, and how employees will be isolated in the workplace until they can be sent home.]
[Company name] has implemented leave policies that promote employees staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. [Describe your sick leave, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other policies addressing these situations.] Accommodations for employees with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented. [Describe policy.]
[Company name] has also implemented a policy for informing employees if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. [Describe policy.]
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of employees’ health status and health information. [Describe policy.]
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Employees are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet, and before touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
All customers and visitors to the workplace will be required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
[Describe how necessary handwashing and/or sanitizer facilities will be provided, supplied and maintained, and that employees will be allowed to perform handwashing to meet this precaution. Describe how means for hand hygiene will be provided for customer and visitor use.]
Respiratory Etiquette: Cover Your Cough or Sneeze
Employees, customers and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all employees, customers and visitors. [Describe how these instructions and reminders will be communicated.]
Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases, and it is advised that a distance of six feet be implemented and maintained between employees, customers and visitors in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls.
[Describe what your company is doing to:
- Use telework, flexible work hours, alternative work shifts to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time
- Provide signage, markings and instructions for employees, visitors and customers about social distancing.
- Describe physical workplace changes, such as increased distance between workstations and worker spacing on production lines and at checkout stations.
- Describe how aisles, display cases, tables, clothing racks, counters, checkout stations, etc. will be arranged and how the flow will be directed to allow for social distancing between employees, customers and visitors. If spacing cannot be increased or social distancing consistently maintained, describe how barriers and guards will be used.
- Describe how occupancy requirements, customer numbers, flow and interactions will be safely conducted during drop-off, pickup, delivery and in-store shopping.
- Describe how employees, visitors and customers will be prevented from gathering in groups in common areas and confined areas, including elevators.
- Describe how personal protective equipment, phones, pens, computer equipment, desks, cubicles, workstations, offices or other personal work tools and equipment will not be shared and, if used by more than one person, cleaned and disinfected between users.
- Describe how riding in or sharing of vehicles will be addressed.
- Describe communications plans to address employee, visitor and customer questions and concerns.
- Describe how you will provide recommended protective supplies, such as masks or nonmedical cloth face coverings, gloves, disinfectant, face-shields for employees and instruction about when and how they should be worn.]
Cleaning, Disinfection, And Ventilation
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, delivery vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunchrooms, meeting rooms, checkout stations, fitting rooms, and drop-off and pick- up locations. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc. [Describe your cleaning schedule, who will be conducting the cleaning, what products you will be using to clean the workplace and how you will disinfect the workplace if a worker, customer or visitor is symptomatic or is diagnosed with COVID-19.]
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfectant supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product. [Describe cleaning and disinfecting supplies that have been procured, for what purpose they should be used and how they should be used, including if personal protective equipment is required.] The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people. [Describe steps being taken introduce fresh air, to improve air circulation, and to properly use and maintain ventilations systems.]
Communications and Training
This COVID-19 Response Plan was communicated [explain how] to all employees [date] and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing [explain how] and provided to all employees who did not receive the initial training. Instructions will be communicated to customers and visitors about: how drop-off, pick-up, delivery and in-store shopping will be conducted to ensure social distancing between the customers and employees; required hygiene practices; and recommendations that customers and visitors use face masks when dropping off, picking up, accepting delivery or in-store shopping. Customers and visitors will also be advised not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19. [Explain how.] Managers and supervisors are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by [explain how]. Management and employees are to work through this new program together and update the training as necessary. This COVID-19 Response Plan has been certified by [Company name] management and was posted throughout the workplace [date]. It will be updated as necessary.
[Title of management official]
Appendix A – Further reading and additional resources
California Department of Public Health COVID 19 response: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
California Department of Public Health Guidance for the Prevention of COVID-19 Transmission for Gatherings: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/cdph-guidance-gatherings-covid19-transmission-prevention-03-16-2020.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
Labor and Workforce Development Agency’s COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Workers: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom California Takes Action to Combat COVID-19: https://www.gov.ca.gov/california-takes-action-to-combat-covid-19/
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom Releases Updated Industry Guidance: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/05/07/governor-newsom-releases-updated-industry-guidance/
State of California COVID-19 Phase 2 for reopening: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/05/04/governor-newsom-provides-update-on-californias-progress-toward-stage-2-reopening/
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance on https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf