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5 Steps to Safely Re-Open Your Business in San Diego County Amid COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is defined as a global spread of a new disease often applied when viruses are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. On March 19, 2020, an executive order and public health order directed all Californians to stay home except to go to an essential job or shop for essential needs to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 among the population. However, not all businesses came to a halt. Essential services were still in operation and the State of California published some guidance on how to maintain those operations open. Over time in the months of April and May, 2020, the State has continued its publication of industry guidance offering recommendations on how to best re-open amid COVID-19.

If your business is in the process of re-opening or recently re-opened, use the next 5-steps as guidance and a minimum criteria for adhering to State, county, and city (or incorporate area) imposed measures.

1. Review the State’s Resilience Roadmap. Confirm that the State is re-opening your industry. As of May 27, 2020, the following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:

  • Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
  • Indoor museums, kids museums, gallery spaces, zoos and libraries
  • Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcade venues, pro sports,
  • Hospitality services, such as bars, wineries, tasting rooms and lounges
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Live audience sports
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel
  • Higher Education

2. Review State-Published Materials to Help Reduce Risk. Begin implementing your own company measures.

“Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. 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
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

It is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay at home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in your workplace. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19.”

3. Revisit A Few Industry-Specific Measures.  The State of California has issued guidance on how to safely re-open your business. Be mindful of the publication dates. Updates may be available since publishing this information. Note that some of these publications are only guidelines intended to provide recommended practices to best help reduce the exposure and infection of COVID-19.

4. Turn to Industry-Based Guidance and Publications. Associations, coalitions, and other industry-specific group exist for the purpose of providing guidance on how safely re-open your business when the State of California permits.

5. Seek Out Professional Advice As Needed. This includes turning to your attorneys, insurance agents, financial advisors, business consultants, human resource outsourced consultants, accountants, bookkeepers, your networks and so on to get your affairs in order and be in the know. Each office has spent the last few months brushing up on how COVID-19 will impact your business from their respective professional background. Now is the time to revisit your network.

NOTE: This is only a suggested series of steps to take. Actual opening measures will vary depending on your business and the many variables involved in operating in California. Be sure to comply with local and state measures as they become published in the following months.