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Responsible Reopening Practices for Businesses

The latest executive order from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued on May 12 and effective May 14, 2020 states that all residents and visitors:

The order also continues to prohibit “gatherings of persons” except as necessary by businesses deemed as part of “critical infrastructure.”

Read:
The CDC’s Latest Guidance for Employers
CDC’s Decision Tree for Making the Decision to Reopen

For businesses seeking to responsibly reopen, physical distancing will be a critical component, and the order continues to support teleworking and staggered shifts as part of that objective. (For a complete list of requirements for businesses from the Governor’s May 12 Executive Order, please click here. For an easy-to-read graphical presentation of requirements issued on May 1, please click here.)

Not surprisingly, a number of rules pertain to sanitation and signage. We wanted to share some best practices from companies who specialize in those fields.

Cleaning (Janitorial) vs. Disinfecting (Sanitizing)

Sanitizing involves more than standard janitorial services, as referenced by the CDC guidelines. The CDC offers this advice as you proceed with opening a facility:

Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

High touch items are among the most pathogen-heavy surfaces in your facility. Routine cleaning and disinfecting of these items along with frequent hand washing are critical to breaking the chain of infection and creating clean, safe, and healthy environments.

High touch surfaces include, but are not limited to:

  • Chair handles and backs
  • Appliances such as coffee machines and pots, microwaves, toaster ovens, water fountains/dispensers and refrigerator handles
  • Door glass and handles
  • Counter tops, desktops and tabletops
  • Buttons, such as on doors, elevators, kiosks and vending machines
  • Light switches, sink handles
  • Phones, keyboards, mouses, printers and fax machines
  • Staplers, tape dispensers, paper towel holders and time clocks
  • Stair rails

Ron Wilder, Managing Operator of 1-800 WATER DAMAGE of North Fulton, is offering free estimates for proactive disinfection services and biohazard cleaning for buildings and facilities. Their equipment and procedures can kill 99.99% of pathogens and include safe, effective, and environmentally friendly disinfectant solutions that meet CDC guidelines and help prevent cross-contamination.

Options for Workplace Signage

Many businesses, especially those with a lot of outside foot traffic (retail stores, restaurants, etc.) will need some type of signage to convey:

  • Distancing requirements
  • Sanitation procedures being followed
  • Cleaning schedules (i.e., in restrooms)
  • Options for ordering or picking up orders
  • Delivery instructions for outside deliveries
  • Any other instructions such as use of face masks, hand sanitizers, temperature checks, etc.

Vendors such as Fast Signs are available to quickly produce signage you may need for both employees and customers. To view some examples of their options for general businesses, municipalities, property managers and corporate environments, click here.