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Your employees and customers will have new perspectives when returning to work and business. This means you need to prepare a safe work environment. Having a proactive plan can help provide feelings of safety and reassurance that their environment is as clean, healthy, and as safe as possible. This guide has been created by ServiceMaster Restore using information from trusted organizations, including the CDC and OSHA.

This pandemic has shifted how people think and behave, in the near future and in the long term. Public opinion about business and life, in general, will be shaped by a much greater awareness of potential infection. Restore the peace of mind of you and your community.



It’s important for businesses to remain vigilant about proper cleaning and disinfection once customers and employees are back in your facility. Understanding how to mitigate the further spread of infection. A key step in doing that is educating your employees on how they can remain safe, as well as keep each other and your customers safe.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home

Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.

Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices:

Consider establishing policies and practices for social distancing.

Social distancing should be implemented if recommended by state and local health authorities. Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible (e.g., breakrooms and cafeterias). Strategies that business could use include:

Employers with more than one business location are encouraged to provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in their COVID-19 response plan based on local conditions.

Consider improving the engineering controls using the building ventilation system.

This may include some or all of the following activities:

Disinfect the workplace environment:


There’s no way you can prepare a safe work environment unless you know how to properly clean disinfect.

Wear disposable gloves and gowns (or disposable protective suits) for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.


For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.

After cleaning:



    • Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor prior to returning to work and stay home.
    • Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.
    • If you become aware of any employee or person visiting your facility who has tested positive for COVID-19 virus, the facility should be disinfected immediately before operations can continue.
    • Limiting meetings to no more than 10 people.
    • Ensuring social distancing rules can be followed in all meetings and gatherings allowing a minimum of 6’ between employees.
    • Staggering break times to limit the number of employees using common areas at the same time.
    • Limiting the use of common equipment or devices such as printers and copiers.
    • Setting up temporary workstations to allow a minimum of 6’ between employees.
    • Opening additional access points to the building to limit traffic congestion.
    • Staggering work hours to reduce employee density.
    • Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.
    • Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member or take care of children due to school and childcare closures.
    • Additional flexibilities might include giving advances on future sick leave and allowing employees to donate sick leave to each other.
    • Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees may want to draft non-punitive “emergency sick leave” policies.
    • Employers should not require a positive COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.
    • Increasing physical space between employees at the worksite.
    • Increasing physical space between employees and customers (e.g., drive through, partitions).
    • Implementing flexible meeting and travel options (e.g., postpone non-essential meetings or events).
    • Delivering services remotely (e.g. phone, video, or web).
    • Delivering products through curbside pick-up or delivery.
    • Increasing ventilation rates.
    • Increasing the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system.

    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.)

    • Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs.
    • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • For disinfection, use EPA-registered household disinfectants. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available online.
    • Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
    • Gloves and gowns or protective suits should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
    • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.
    • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
    • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • For disinfection, EPA-registered disinfectants should be used.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection
      products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.
    • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
    • Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 and that are suitable for porous surfaces.
    • For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    • Consider the use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.