How to ensure a safer home and workspace during COVID-19. 

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Coronaviruses are zoonotic which means they are transmitted from animals to humans.

Are you ready to reopen your business? 

CTSI has created a “Return To Work” protocol for our clients, please reach out if you are in need.
Follow the tips below to ensure your workspace is safe for reopening and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment

Commercial Building Management & Office Based Work Guidelines for Employers and Employees

Physical Distancing
(for more mandatory and recommended best practices by NYS please refer to the guidelines):

  • Ensure, together with tenants, that, during Phase IV, total occupancy is limited to 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy.
  • Any time workers or visitors must come within 6 ft. of another person, acceptable face coverings must be worn (ensuring that mouth and nose are covered). Individuals must be prepared to don a face covering if another person unexpectedly comes within 6 ft.
  • Establish designated areas for pickups and deliveries.
  • Shared workstations (e.g. “hot-desks”) must be cleaned and disinfected between users.
recommended best practices
  • Restrict/modify the number of workstations and employee seating areas, so that workers are at least six feet apart in all directions (e.g. side-to-side and when facing one another).
  • Prohibit the use of small spaces (e.g. elevators, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time, unless all individuals are wearing face coverings.
  • Install physical barriers at reception and security desks (e.g. plexiglass or similar materials) in accordance with the OSHA guidelines.
  • Limit the number of entrances to manage the flow of visitors into the building and facilitate health screenings.

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection
(for more mandatory and recommended best practices, please refer to the guidelines):

  • Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain cleaning and disinfection logs on site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.
  • Provide and encourage participants to use cleaning and disinfection supplies before and after use of shared and frequently touched surfaces, followed by hand hygiene.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect the location or facility and conduct more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high risk areas used by many individuals (e.g. restrooms) and for frequently touched surfaces, using Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.
recommended best practices
  • Avoid the use of furniture that is not easily cleaned and disinfected (e.g. cloth fabric sofas).
  • Wherever possible, increase ventilation of outdoor air (e.g. opening windows and doors) while maintaining safety precautions.

(for more mandatory and recommended best practices, please refer to the guidelines):

  • Post signage inside and outside of the office location to remind personnel and customers to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • If a worker or visitor was in close or proximate contact with others at the office location and tests positive for COVID-19, an employer must immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers, visitors, and/or customers (if known) who had close or proximate contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.
recommended best practices
  • Work with tenants to develop webpages, text and email groups, and social media campaigns to provide information to workers, customers, and visitors that include instructions, training, signage, and information.
  • Establish a communication plan for employees, and visitors with a consistent means to provide updated information.

(for more mandatory and recommended best practices, please refer to the guidelines):

  • Implement mandatory health screening assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) for employees, contractors, and other visitors, asking about (1) COVID19 symptoms in the past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Responses must be reviewed and such review must be documented.
  • Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and contact tracing in the event of a positive case.
recommended best practices
  • Perform screening remotely (e.g. by telephone or electronic survey), before people arrive, to the extent possible.
  • Temperature checks may be conducted per Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or DOH guidelines.
  • On-site screeners should be trained by employer identified individuals familiar with CDC, DOH, and OSHA protocols and wear appropriate PPE, including at a minimum, a face covering.

Preventative actions against Viral Infections

• Regulate humidity: Humidity plays an important role in the spread of viruses. With humidity levels that are too low, viruses and bacteria can thrive. You need just the right amount to maintain health in your buildings and facilities. Healthy humidity levels will make it more difficult for the virus to spread.

Filter air: Check and maintain air filters to reduce the spread of unclean air.

Keep warm: Your body can put up a better fight against illness when you’re warm.

Stay at home: If employees have the symptoms of the flu, recommended that they stay at home.

• Symptoms may include fever, runny nose, body aches, headache or vomiting. The CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit) ends. Employees should be encouraged to use their sick days or work from home to help prevent the spread of the flu.

Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout your business. “See below video to all of your staff how to wash their hands and Prevent spread of potential bacteria & virus.” spread

Avoid touching: Avoid touching the nose, mouth and eyes to prevent the spread of the germs. Also, do not shake hands or come in close contact with co-workers who might be ill.

Cover your mouth: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve. Throw the used tissue away immediately.

Clean surfaces: Keep frequently touched common surfaces, counters, copiers, telephones, computers, etc., clean. Make disinfectant wipes available for employees to help keep areas clean.

Educate: Put up signs, posters and send emails reminding employees about how to reduce the spread of the flu and cold viruses.

Preventative actions in a workspace.

Perform routine environmental cleaning by doing the following:

• Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

• Public Areas: Restrooms, Lobbies, Elevators should have more frequent maintenance by janitorial personnel.

• Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

• Lobbies should provide hand sanitizing stations in multiple locations.

Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps and considerations.

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential traveling at this point.

• Check the
CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices  for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country

to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and

information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.

• Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel

and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

• Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they

should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

• Review your company’s current pandemic flu plan or we can develop a new plan with selected committee

(involve employees in development and review plan for distribution)

• Develop a flexible leave policy to allow employees to stay home to care for illness or sick family members.