Resources For Businesses

Preparing for Reopening

WA State Guidance for Reopening Specific Industries

FAQ for Businesses on Positive Cases and Employees (7/14/20)

Printable Posters for Businesses re: Mask Wearing

Guide for Face Coverings & Masks for Businesses from WA L&I

WA Guide for Helping Businesses with Initial Planning for Reopening (5/4/20)

Governor’s Four Phase Plan for Reopening (5/5/20)

WA DOH Resources for Workplace and Employers (ongoing updates)

Some key resources:

  • The San Juan County Economic Development Council has a great webpage with links to these and other resources and tools that may be of use to our local business community.

  • The Working Washington Small Business Grantthrough the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce with the help of county economic development organizations. The grants will provide up to $10,000 for small businesses under 10 employees. Businesses can use this money to pay for rent, utility bills, supplies, inventory and other operating expenses. To apply for an emergency grant, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.

  • Business resiliency assistance, through the Washington State Department of Commerce,

  • Forgivable loans, through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small businesses, non-profits, independent contractors or a self-employed individuals in need of financial help may be eligible for a forgivable loan from the SBA. Beginning last Friday, local banks began taking SBA applications and issuing forgivable loans. For more information go to sba.gov.

Recommended hygiene strategies for employers to use now:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home 
  • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. 
  • Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees 
  • Additional Measures:
    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

    • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

How do I keep my business as clean and disinfected as possible?

Routine cleaning works against COVID-19, but you need to be 100% spot on, and even more proactive, regular, and aggressive with your efforts than normal. Businesses should follow standard procedures for cleaning and disinfecting with a Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified products and kills human coronavirus. (That includes the common cold, as well as COVID-19).

Typically, this means frequent sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands‐on learning items, faucet handles, phones/tablets and toys. Also, focus on “high contact areas that people are touching with their hands” and “horizontal surfaces like counters or desks” where viruses can live in droplets and transfer from the surface to the next person who touches it and then rubs their eyes or eats food or scratches their nose.

A simple format to follow:

  • Focus on high-touch areas and horizontal surfaces.
  • Clean with soap and water, or detergent.
  • Disinfect with EPA certified product.
  • Be sure to read the label and follow the directions.

One of my employees is experiencing an illness with COVID-19-like symptoms. Do I need to close my business to the public?

In the event of a confirmed positive test for COVID-19, public health staff will be working with your business directly to perform proactive contact tracing and will provide further guidance at that time.

That said, this is a nuanced question with many possible factors at play and common sense should be used at all times. Don’t hesitate to contact the COVID-19 hotline at 360-370-7500 if you have specific questions around situation in your workplace. We encourage all businesses that are able to have staff telecommute work remotely, but we know this option is simply not feasible for many businesses. The hope is that business owners make decisions that attempt to balance needs of both their business and the overall health of the community. It is no easy thing. 

We understand that these decisions can have wide ranging impacts to both businesses and the customers they serve. San Juan County’s best advice is to follow the guidance of the Department of Health recommendations for workplaces found here, and consider implementing a plan now in case one of your employees contracts this illness.