Best Practices for Reopening Communities
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer should be made available in buildings and outdoor locations.
- The use of equipment such as phones, headphones, microphones, and other personal equipment should not be shared, and should be sanitized before and after each use.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Everyone should routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, particularly in bathrooms and food preparation spaces (TV remotes, tables, doorknobs, handrails, telephones, light switches, etc.).
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- For disinfection, use EPA-registered household disinfectants and follow the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
- For more information on methods & products:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Face Coverings: Physical respiratory protection such as a cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are within six feet of each other because (a) COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and (b) a significant number of infected people will show no outward symptoms of illness.
- Gloves: The use of gloves is recommended for cleaning, caring for someone who is sick, or certain workplace environments. Gloves are not a substitute for regular hand washing.
Note: The use of N95 and surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare providers and other sectors when appropriate.
- Everyone should maintain 6-feet distance from others in public spaces. If unable to do so, use a face covering to lower exposure to respiratory droplets (see above).
- Community leaders should consider ways to maintain social distancing as it relates to the circumstance.
Monitoring of Symptoms
- Everyone should monitor their health status and stay home when feeling symptoms of any illness
- Consider implementing a temperature screening. People should return home if above 100.4 °F.
- Consider using the following questions to screen appropriate persons:
- Do you/they have fever or have you/they felt hot or feverish recently (14-21 days)?
- Are you/they experiencing any other symptoms of illness (including shortness of breath, cough, abdominal pain or discomfort, headache, fatigue, congestion, loss of taste or smell) within the past two weeks?
- Are you/they in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 positive patients?
- Have you been told to self-isolate by a doctor or health department official?
IMPORTANT: If a person experiences emergency warning signs – difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips/face – call 911 and get medical attention. Notify the operator if there is a concern for COVID-19.
Interactions Between People
- Consider how to utilize technology to create virtual experiences, including meetings and social events.
- Reduce the number of people or change venue/building to prevent crowding.
- Stagger arrivals and departures of people to limit the number in the same area.
- Consider the risk of travel to certain areas and any health conditions that may put others at higher risk.
- Consider incorporating occupancy restrictions and social distancing practices into events and in-person workplaces (see above).
- Use messaging to promote preventive practices (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, staying home if ill).
- Consider programming to reduce high risk activities (i.e. those that require physical contact between participants).
- If serving food, consider packaged refreshments instead of a buffet. Any event that provides food should consult with the Environmental Health Department (315-366-2361).
In the event that there is a local outbreak of COVID-19, community leaders should be prepared to provide a list of individuals that have entered the location or attended an event.
Using the guiding principles above, community leaders should address each topic area during plan development.
- What measures will you implement to ensure the health and safety of people? What is your plan to enforce these measures?
Measures should include:
- Personal Hygiene & Monitoring of Symptoms
- Disinfection Practices
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Physical Distance
- Interaction between People
- Madison County, https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2479/Coronavirus-COVID-19
- New York State, https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Updated: June 11, 2020