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CDC’s Detailed Guidance to Reopen Businesses

By: Abby S. Busler

The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) has issued 60 pages of detailed guidance to reopen businesses, health care facilities and providers, schools, transit, and other industries. This guidance also provides information regarding testing and data to assist with exposure and risk concerns for those industries. The following is an overview of the topics addressed in the newly released guidance.

  • High Risk Employees: Employers with workers at high risk are recommended that they self-identify and employers should avoid making unnecessary medical inquiries. Employers are encouraged to offer options to telework if possible, or duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees.
  • Restaurants and Bars: Restaurants and bars may reopen utilizing social distancing and reduced capacity. The CDC also recommends formal policies in place to enforce proper hygiene, including the use of cloth facemasks and encourage employees to stay at home if ill. Employers are advised to follow applicable OSHA guidance as well.
  • Surveillance Systems: The CDC sets forth sample surveillance systems to assist with capturing all parameters of the pandemic, including testing, contract tracing and other guidance regarding limiting exposure. This guidance offers details for local and state health departments related to testing efforts and best practices to assist with controlling the spread of the disease and gating criteria.
  • Schools: The CDC recommends that schools remain closed and continue virtual learning. Schools may slowly reopen pursuant to the reopening guidelines, including recommendations for spacing students six feet apart and staggering lunch periods, along with increased social distancing for students and staff. If an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19 schools may consider closing for a short time (1-2 days) for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Summer Camps: At this time, the CDC recommends that summer camps provide services only to children of essential workers and those who live in local geographical area.
  • Child Care: Child care programs should be gearing up to reopen and the guidance sets forth interim guidance to assist with the gradual scale up for operations. Step one restricts daycares to children of essential workers; step two expands daycare services to all children with enhanced social distancing measures; Step three remaining open for all children with social distancing measures.
  • Mass Transit: Mass transit is recommended to consider revising its routes based on local virus spread and advised to coordinate with local health officials.

The list above is not exhaustive, and the latest guidance provides roadmaps for businesses in various industries as they navigate this new normal. Specific to businesses, the CDC’s May 21, 2020 changes include:

  • Updated cleaning and disinfection guidance
  • Updated best practices for conducting social distancing
  • Updated strategies and recommendations that can be implemented now to respond to COVID-19

Related CDC links for businesses include:

For guidance on reopening within Wisconsin, review the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) Reopen Guidelines linked here. WEDC offered general guidelines as well as customized guidance for each industry.

As always, your Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. attorneys are here to assist during this challenging time. If you have any questions about this article or need further information, please contact your Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. attorney, the author linked above, or the related practice group chair linked here.

We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and provide guidance to businesses via our Coronavirus Legal and Business Resource hub.