Preparations underway for safe reopening

Preparations underway for safe reopening

(May 4) To ensure San Diego is ready to safely reopen as soon as state orders are lifted, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and County Supervisor and Board Chairman Greg Cox today introduced guidelines developed by industry and workforce leaders to prepare the region to restart economic activity. The guidance can be used by restaurants, hair and nail salons, and other businesses planning to safely reopen their doors.

“San Diego is ready to recover and is preparing for a reopening that’s safe, strategic and specific to our diverse industries. These guidelines will help get the economy back on its feet and get San Diegans back to work when state and regional orders are lifted,” Faulconer said. “Businesses can use these strategies to get a head start on their reopening plans. We have one goal: protect employees, customers and the public.”

The recommended strategies come from the Responsible COVID-19 Economic Reopening (RECOVER) Advisory Group, which was established on April 17. Supervisor Cox and Mayor Faulconer created the group to give voice to businesses and their employees, and to plan for the unique needs of the region’s diverse industries.

“This proposal will take input from the RECOVER group and from others to create a framework to safely reopen non-essential businesses when the time comes,” Cox said. “This will be a starting point for what we expect will be a long, evolving return to business for San Diegans.”

The RECOVER Advisory Group guidelines provide steps a business can take when creating a health and safety plan specific to its daily operations, customer base and employee needs. Businesses can consider adopting these recommended strategies, in coordination with forthcoming guidance from public health officials, to secure the safety of customers and workers.

The plan includes five focus areas and a check list of corresponding actions, which have been recommended by the RECOVER Advisory Group with input from County Public Health officials. They include: 

Employee health: Require Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for employees and commit to voluntary compliance with public health officials on contact tracing and testing.

Safe worksite entry: Establish controlled entrance and exit practices to avoid queuing issues and work with the Public Health Department to create processes for employee symptom checks.

Workplace distancing and conditions: Evaluate occupancy and capacity to ensure proper physical distancing and keep shifts consistent with the same employees in each rotation or shift.

Employee training and compliance: Ensure signage on safety requirements, such as hand washing, physical distancing and reporting procedures for employees who become ill.

Enhanced cleaning and sanitation: Develop a sanitation plan that includes frequent cleaning of restrooms, workstations and public spaces.

In consultation with the RECOVER Advisory Group, the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will vote on a Business Safety Framework that businesses must follow to reopen once state restrictions are lifted. Every business will need to demonstrate how it can operate safely in compliance with state and county requirements.

The RECOVER Advisory Group also provided enhanced guidance specific to various industries, including:
Wellness facilities
Attractions and tourism
Commercial real estate

“When business reopens it’s going to look and feel different than what any of us were used to. It’s important that our businesses have the guidance to ensure the safety of employees and customers, so they can stay open for the long term,” said President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Jerry Sanders. “Our goal in creating these guidelines was to provide businesses with the framework to start planning now for reopening so when the time comes that it is safe to do so, business can open safely and swiftly, and be set-up for long term success.”

These industry-specific strategies are in various stages of development, pending final clearance from appropriate public health agencies.

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