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102 things to do before reopening

A checklist that covers all the bases

When it’s time to head back to the office or back to full-time, in-person learning, there’s no greater time than now to consider new ways of working, learning, and socializing ― together. With countless scenarios to consider, products to purchase, and the well-being of your employees, students, and customers ever-present in your mind, you may be wondering where to even begin. The good news? We’ve done the legwork for you, compiling a list of over 100 things to do before reopening — 102 to be exact — to help you cover all the bases. From general to room-specific solutions, keep this checklist handy as you prepare your facility or workplace for a safe return.

102 THINGS TO DO Checklist

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General Guidance

  1. Review current local, state, and federal guidelines that apply to your business or industry.
  2. Create a return-to-work taskforce responsible for enforcing and communicating guidelines.
  3. Provide associates with a written guide for new behaviors/protocols and ensure proper training is conducted by the local HR department.
  4. Post signage that details the importance of wearing face masks when entering a building, leaving a workstation, or interacting with others.
  5. Reinforce messaging for all associates: please do not come into work if feeling unwell.
  6. If an individual tests positive, isolate him or her by following local and state policies for quarantine periods and testing.
  7. Put a plan in place to identify and contact all potentially exposed individuals based on local and state protocols.
  8. Avoid hugs or handshakes. Greet others by saying "Hello."
  9. Always have more inventory on hand than needed in the event of an increase or spike in demand. This should include gloves, masks, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated disinfectants and soaps.
  10. Above all, don’t be afraid to be adaptable; determine what can change for long-term success in a post-pandemic world.

Bathrooms

  1. Instruct staff to follow a more frequent, detailed cleaning schedule.
  2. Double up on disinfecting supplies, paying close attention to high-touch surfaces.
  3. Display handwashing and social distancing reminders in prominent locations.
  4. Replenish janitorial carts frequently to meet increased cleaning demands.
  5. Disinfect baby changing tables on a regular basis.
  6. Place antimicrobial film on door plates and handles for extra protection.
  7. Use stainless steel urinal screens to help promote safe distancing.
  8. Convert manual flush valves to automatic, sensor-operated flush valves to reduce the spread of germs.
  9. Install multiple drying stations to eliminate crowding around key areas.
  10. Add foot- or arm-operated door openers to avoid touching handles or doorknobs.
  11. Integrate other contactless solutions such as touchless faucets and automatic paper towel dispensers.
  12. Position a hand sanitizer dispenser directly outside of the restroom area.
  13. Limit occupants to half the normal restroom capacity; post signage reflecting this change.
  14. Add crowd control stanchions outside of the restroom area to prevent overcrowding.
  15. Display cleaning schedules and checklists for easy visibility; include time stamps to illustrate the extra effort being implemented to keep health top priority.

Common Areas/Lobbies

  1. Furnish the lobby with antimicrobial upholstery to safeguard the furniture against germs and odors.
  2. Position furniture at appropriate distances.
  3. Move guest and visitor check-in areas away from the receptionist.
  4. Scan guests and visitors for elevated body temperature using a thermal imaging system or non-contact digital thermometer.
  5. Outfit the reception desk with cashier shields for added protection.
  6. Easily separate or rearrange areas with mobile partitions and dividers.
  7. Set up crowd control stanchions to reduce overcrowding.
  8. Use floor markers to encourage guests to maintain their social distance.
  9. Place hand sanitizer dispensers near the reception area and all entry and exit points.
  10. Position antimicrobial film on elevator buttons and door handles for 24/7 surface protection.
  11. Go touchless with hands-free garbage cans.
  12. Add air scrubbers with HEPA filtration near the main entrance.
  13. Create one-way traffic flow, when possible, along narrow passages, hallways, and staircases.
  14. Designate a table for packages and deliveries away from the reception area; for food deliveries, encourage curbside delivery only.

Office Spaces

  1. Welcome back associates with signage listing expected behaviors and additional protocols.
  2. Let associates know that the office space may look different upon their return, including: social distancing signage and floor markers, hand sanitizers, meeting room and common area limitations, and face mask protocols.
  3. Take photos of the implemented changes and distribute to all associates.
  4. Stagger work shifts and/or rotations and limit building occupancy to no more than 50% capacity.
  5. Stock cabinets with facial tissues and cleaning supplies. 
  6. Disinfect doorknobs, file cabinets, tables, common areas, office equipment, and other commonly touched surfaces throughout the workday.
  7. Make hand sanitizer readily available by placing dispensers every 15 feet.
  8. Use HEPA filtration to improve air circulation around high-traffic areas.
  9. Separate desks to ensure six feet between all associates.
  10. Add partitions or room dividers to allow safe collaboration.
  11. Place deskside wastebaskets at each workstation to keep germs contained.
  12. Encourage use of desktop dry erase boards to reduce contact with shared spaces.
  13. Practice social distancing when sitting near colleagues at conference tables.
  14. Employ virtual video conferencing whenever possible.
  15. If an in-person meeting is unavoidable, post occupancy limit signage and remove chairs to maintain social distancing. 
  16. Prohibit sharing office supplies, such as pens or pads.
  17. Discourage associates from bringing in food for the team (bagels, donuts, cookies, etcetera).
  18. Ensure janitorial process includes disinfecting all surfaces multiple times per day.
  19. Invest in foggers and sprayers to increase efficiency of janitorial team.
  20. Remove water coolers and water fountains; replace with touchless water bottle refilling stations, along with touchless ice makers (if applicable).
  21. Create dedicated walkways that keep cross traffic six feet apart.
  22. Consider current workforce needs and determine if permanent remote assignments can be accommodated.

Outdoor Areas

  1. Display outdoor signage listing social distancing protocols.
  2. Set up picnic tables with thermoplastic coating for resilience against outdoor elements.
  3. Keep waste contained using recycling bins and plastic/steel outdoor garbage cans.
  4. Disinfect bike racks, playground equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces.
  5. Use sprayers and pressure washers to sanitize and deep clean large areas.
  6. Refill water bottles using touch-free outdoor bottle filling stations.
  7. Promote hand hygiene with mobile handwashing units.
  8. Position picnic tables and benches at safe distances apart.
  9. Use traffic cones and barriers to maintain physical distancing and crowd control.
  10. Convert parking spaces into outdoor conference rooms (if space is limited).

Warehouses

  1. Equip workers with personal protective equipment.
  2. Post a cleaning schedule with times coordinated at off working hours.
  3. Place hand sanitizer stations, safety signs, and social distancing reminders at entrances and exits.
  4. Set up a wellness check station to screen for elevated body temperature.
  5. Use floor markers to encourage single-file movement in narrow or confined areas.
  6. Keep airflow moving with industrial fans and air scrubbers.
  7. Move products more efficiently, with fewer employees, using conveyor systems.
  8. Disinfect frequently used equipment such as hand trucks and scissor lifts.
  9. Collect and dispose of waste using tilt trucks and plastic indoor garbage cans.
  10. Use floor scrubbers and sweepers to regularly remove dust, dirt, and debris.
  11. Secure small items and important tools in a security cage or tool crib.
  12. Create visual and physical barriers using guard rails and bollards.

Classrooms

  1. Set up hand sanitizer stations to ensure clean hands before entering classrooms.
  2. Ensure desks are spread apart and use floor tape to indicate proper space.
  3. Add desk dividers to reduce the risk of exposure to coughs and other airborne droplets.
  4. Display floor markers to promote safe distancing between teachers and students.
  5. Frequently clean lockers and bookcases with disinfecting wipes.
  6. Keep doors propped open to help enhance ventilation and to avoid touching doorknobs.
  7. Have an ample supply of facial tissues available for coughs and sneezes.
  8. Use mobile whiteboards to create a safe working space or room divider.

Cafeterias

  1. Reconfigure the lunchroom to allow for social distancing on lunch lines, at cafeteria tables, and near trash receptacles.
  2. Enforce one-way traffic flow with crowd control stanchions and floor markers.
  3. Use tables equipped with an antimicrobial agent for surface protection in high-traffic areas.
  4. Reduce lunchroom table occupancy to smaller numbers.
  5. Add lunch dividers to help safeguard students while they eat and drink.
  6. Use disposable utensils and gloves to reduce contact between others.
  7. Regularly clean and disinfect tables, trays, and counters between lunch sessions.
  8. Boost hand hygiene with portable sinks and handwashing stations.
  9. Keep the supply closet well-stocked with cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
  10. Replace water fountains, ice makers, and paper towel dispensers with touchless solutions.
  11. Consider leaving doors with handles or knobs wide open with securable stoppers to reduce contact.
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