Key Documents for Reopening

Linked below are three important documents:

  1. Workplace Safety Standards - Complete and official sector-specific standards for reopening laboratories (all workplaces must also comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces)
  2. Protocol Summary - User friendly summary of the standards and best practices
  3. Checklist - Printable tool to help businesses perform the required self-certification for opening and ensure compliance with the sector-specific standards 

Social Distancing

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals unless this distance is unsafe due to the nature of the work or configuration of the workspace

Close or reconfigure worker common and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing; redesign work stations to ensure physical distancing (e.g., separate tables, use distance markers to assure spacing)

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage workers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines in the cafeteria)

Cafeterias must practice physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures and may allow indoor and / or outdoor seating according to Restaurant guidance

Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring 6 feet of physical distancing

Require face coverings for all workers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability

Establish directional pathways to manage worker flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building, factory zone) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers

Minimize the use of confined spaces (e.g., elevators, control rooms, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time; all workers in such spaces at the same time are required to wear face coverings

Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building, factory zone) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers

Hygiene Protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for workers

Require frequent cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as desks, door handles, and restrooms

Avoid sharing use of laboratory materials / equipment (e.g., goggles) or disinfect equipment between use

Staffing and Operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (if working in-person, leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Maintain a log of workers and customers to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed

For guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the Commonwealth's current out-of-state travel order.  Employers are strongly discouraged from requiring or allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the Department of Public Health’s list of COVID-19 lower risk States.  Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those States should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States.  

Workers must stay home if feeling ill

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace

Laboratories should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas, outside the facility if possible

Restrict access of office workers to lab or production facilities; segment office / support personnel to specific areas of the facility

Allow water fountains to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Workers should bring their own water bottles

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service.  Examples include:

Cafeterias: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Recommended Best Practices

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible (e.g., office work, data analysis, notebook recording); external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the laboratory

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct daily cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, elevators, bathrooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current guidance

Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Recommended Best Practices

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Checklist

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Ensure >6ft  between individuals

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals unless this distance is unsafe due to the nature of the work or configuration of the workspace

Close or reconfigure worker common and high density areas where workers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms, eating areas) to allow social distancing; redesign work stations to ensure physical distancing (e.g., separate tables, use distance markers to assure spacing)

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage workers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines in the cafeteria)

Cafeterias must practice physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures and may allow indoor and / or outdoor seating according to Restaurant guidance

Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Stagger lunch and break times, regulating max number of people in one place and ensuring 6 feet of physical distancing

Require face coverings for all workers, except where unsafe due to medical condition or disability

Establish directional pathways to manage worker flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Designate assigned working areas (e.g., floor, building, factory zone) to individuals where possible to limit movement throughout the facility and limit contact between workers

Minimize the use of confined spaces (e.g., elevators, control rooms, vehicles) by more than one individual at a time; all workers in such spaces at the same time are required to wear face coverings

HYGIENE PROTOCOLS

Apply robust hygiene protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for workers

Require frequent cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as desks, door handles, and restrooms

Avoid sharing use of laboratory materials / equipment (e.g., goggles) or disinfect equipment between use

STAFFING & OPERATIONS

Include safety procedures in the operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (if working in-person, leverage working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion at entry points

Maintain a log of workers and customers to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

For guidance on business-sponsored travel, refer to the Commonwealth's current out-of-state travel order.  Employers are strongly discouraged from requiring or allowing business-related travel to destinations other than those appearing on the Department of Public Health’s list of COVID-19 lower risk States.  Employers that permit employer-paid or -reimbursed travel to those States should take measures to ensure employees comply with this order. Employers are also urged to strongly discourage their employees from taking leisure travel to destinations not included on the list of COVID-19 lower-risk States.  

Workers must stay home if feeling ill

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace

Laboratories should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas, outside the facility if possible

Restrict access of office workers to lab or production facilities; segment office / support personnel to specific areas of the facility

Employers are encouraged to have workers continue to telework if feasible (e.g., office work, data analysis, notebook recording); external meetings should be remote to reduce density in the laboratory

Allow water fountains to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Workers should bring their own water bottles

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service.  Examples include:

Cafeterias: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

CLEANING & DISINFECTING

Incorporate robust hygiene protocols

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct daily cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, handrails, elevators, bathrooms)

In event of a positive case, shut down site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current guidance

Clean shared spaces (e.g., conference rooms) between use and supply cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Phase III Downloads and Translations

Phase II Downloads

These are updated documents for Phase II of the reopening plan.

Additional Resources

Phase I Downloads and Translations

Additional resources below, including easy print versions of the sector-specific circular and checklist.

Additional Resources

Last updated: July 24, 2020
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