Will Summer 2020 Bring the Resurgence of the Pandemic? COVID-19 Preparedness Plans are Here to Stay

June 2020

As the country started to open up with the return of restaurants, shopping centers, and gyms, it appeared our lives might start to return to some normalcy. Unfortunately, we are now witnessing a surge of COVID-19 in new hot spots and it is clear we are in this for the long haul. In Minnesota, we have recently seen news reports suggesting clusters of cases in some Amazon warehouses and in southern Minnesota among young people who had recently visited the same establishments.

Aside from these reminders that COVID-19 is still very much present in our country and community, it is also important to remember that the mandates in Governor Walz’s Executive Orders are still very much in effect for both critical and non-critical businesses. In order to ensure compliance with those mandates, companies must continue to take the required precautions to protect the health of their employees and customers and to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposures in their workplaces.

In particular, as discussed in our previous article on workplace preparedness, non-critical businesses are required to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place as a condition of reopening for business and have been since the re-opening phase began in May. Additionally, as of Monday, June 29, 2020, all critical businesses are also required to implement a Preparedness Plan. Critical businesses were those allowed to stay open with restrictions during Minnesota’s stay-at-home order and were previously exempt from needing a Preparedness Plan in order to continue operations.

A company’s Preparedness Plan must address, among other things, the following:

  • Continuation of remote work practices for workers who are able to perform their job duties from home;
  • Procedures for preventing sick workers from entering the workplace;
  • Protocols to maintain social distancing;
  • Worker hygiene and source controls;
  • Workplace cleaning, disinfection and ventilation protocols; and
  • Plans for certifying, circulating, and implementing the business’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to workers and management.

We understand that there is a lot to consider when developing a well-crafted COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. This article provides a basic summary of the fundamental steps to help serve as a starting point. The attorneys in FMJ’s HR & Employment practice group are available to assist businesses, both critical and non-critical, in creating their plans in order to get their businesses properly positioned to reopen or continue operating.

If your business needs assistance with developing your plan, please contact Shannon McDonough at shannon.mcdonough@fmjlaw.com, Natolie Hochhausen at natolie.hochhausen@fmjlaw.com, or Schaan Barth at schaan.barth@fmjlaw.com in FMJ’s HR & Employment practice group.