Texas is slowly re-opening, which means that more businesses are opening up and employees are slowly trickling back into offices around the state. If you’re about to go back to work, you can take some precautionary measures to protect yourself and your coworkers from exposure to COVID-19.
Understand Work Capacity Restrictions
As Texas re-opens, businesses have different limits on the number of employees that are allowed to be in the office together at any one time. This is to prevent crowding offices and limit unnecessary exposure. But businesses will be able to slowly incorporate more staff as re-opening progresses and we gather more data about COVID-19. While no office looks exactly alike, mindfulness and adherence to company re-entry protocols are equally important to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Check out The Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas to find out more about re-opening dates, and more information about employee limitations in your industry.
Safety Guidelines for Employees
A lot of people are excited to get back to work and catch up with coworkers about life during lockdown. In addition to your own company’s protocols, follow these recommended safety tips to minimize the exposure risk for you and your coworkers. By doing so, you can help the office stay healthier as Texas re-opens.
- Wash your hands often, especially after interacting with other people or common objects in the office.
- Wear a mask to work. This is considered a best practice by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is critical to prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19.
- Try to maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet between all people you encounter at work.
- Take sanitizing wipes with you to work and wipe down your desk and chair before you sit down, and again when you’re concluding the workday.
- Avoid sharing a ride or taking public transit to get to work. If possible, it’s best to take your own car or have a member of your household take you to work.
- Keep a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer on you if a sink is not accessible, or if you cannot wash your hands often.
- Avoid sharing small, enclosed spaces with people.
- Avoid eating lunch in large groups.
- Do not share food, utensils, or beverages with coworkers.
- Leave accessories like jewelry, necklaces, ties, and watches at home to prevent potential surface area contact tracing.
- Leave your phone in your purse, side bag or backpack, and avoid putting it on your desk or other common surfaces in the office.
- If you are sick or have a fever, then stay at home and contact your doctor for further instructions. If you’ve been going to work prior to getting sick, then inform your employer of your illness and consider getting tested for COVID-19.
For more information about staying safe at work, check out the CDC’s Worker and Safety Support page.
Safety Guidelines for Employers
If you’re a business preparing to welcome employees back into the office, there are some practical, prudent steps you can take to better protect the health and safety of the people working in your office.
- Create a plan for a safe work environment that protects employees and customers from COVID-19 risks.
- Clearly communicate COVID-19 safety guidelines to your employees to ensure better compliance.
- Clearly communicate your capacity guidelines to your employees and customers.
- Make sure that your facility is completely cleaned and disinfected on a regular schedule.
- Encourage employee preparedness by offering masks and hand sanitizer to any employee in need.
- Require employees to take their temperature at the door with a no-touch forehead scanner, and do not allow employees with elevated temperatures to enter the building.
- Allow plenty of hand-washing time and resources to employees.
- Be flexible and offer remote working opportunities when they’re possible.
- Try to limit meetings to no more than 10 employees and discourage large gatherings of people in an enclosed space.
Visit the CDC’s website for more information about protecting the health of your employees and customers.
Day by Day, Texas is Returning to Normal
Life is slowly returning to normal as more and more businesses re-open in Texas, but you must stay on top of your COVID-19 precautionary measures to protect yourself from the disease. If we all establish small, healthier habits, then one by one and day by day we can multiply our positive impact on our city, our state and our nation. Together, we will get through COVID-19, day by day.
Join the Discussion
We would love to hear about the ways you and your community are combatting COVID-19 and taking it day by day. Follow us on social media, and share your stories about living during the COVID-19 pandemic using the #DAYxDAY hashtag.