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Updated In-Person Business Operations Guidance Issued

The Governor has issued additional Guidance for Businesses permitted to reopen in-person operations on May 8, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. as 24 counties move to the “Yellow Phase” in the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania. 

The new Guidance, summarized below, largely compiles various other guidance into one document.  The Guidance is linked below in this Alert.  This Guidance applies to all businesses permitted to conduct in-person operations in Pennsylvania, unless more stringent industry-specific guidance applies (i.e. healthcare industry guidance).

  • All Businesses conducting in-person operations must:
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas frequently
  • Clean all other areas of the building regularly
  • Establish and implement a COVID-19 response plan that complies with CDC guidance (which is detailed in the Guidance)
  • Stagger shifts to avoid large groups entering or leaving the building at one time
  • Limit the number of people in employee common areas
  • Hold meetings virtually, if possible, and when an in-person meeting is necessary, limit the meeting to 10 people and maintain social distancing of six feet
  • Provide employees access to soap and water, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes
  • Provide employees non-medical masks to wear while on the work site (DCED hosts the Business2Business Interchange Directory to assist businesses in sourcing PPE)
  • Ensure there are adequate employees to implement and maintain the safety and cleaning protocols
  • Discourage non-essential visitors
  • Communicate safety procedures to all employees

Businesses that serve the public inside a building or other defined area must also take these additional precautions, as applicable:

  • Conduct business by appointment only, when feasible, and if not feasible, limit access to the building only to 50% of its maximum occupancy
  • Schedule handwashing breaks for employees at least every hour
  • Modify business hours to allow time for cleaning and restocking
  • Install shields or other barriers at registers and check out areas, or take other measures to maintain social distancing between customers and employees
  • Encourage customers to order online and use delivery or pick-up options, if available
  • Designate a specific time for high-risk customers to access the business at least once a week
  • Require all customers wear masks while on the premises, unless the individual cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (customers not wearing a mask are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition)
  • If your business has multiple check-out lanes, limit use to every other lane
  • Assign an employee to wipe down carts and handbaskets before used by customers

Businesses must print, sign, and post the “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses” flyer on their premises. The flyer, in both 8.5” x 11” and 8.5” x 14” format, is linked below.  Businesses must post the signed flyer in employee common space and, if the business serves the public, the business must also post the flyer near the business’s public entrance(s) in prominent location(s).  The flyer also indicates the business’ “Pandemic Safety Officer.”  Each worksite must have its own Pandemic Safety Officer.    

Businesses should not conduct in-person operations if they cannot comply with the requirements of this guidance, and all other applicable state and federal guidance, including:

Businesses serving the public which have operations that inherently involve close contact with customers, and therefore cannot attain social distancing, are not permitted to conduct in-person operations until the county in which the business is located transitions to the Green Phase.  The Governor’s previous guidance has identified Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and indoor recreation centers) as such businesses.  Additionally, during the Yellow Phase, schools remain closed to in-person instruction and restaurants remain limited to takeout and delivery only.