Best Practices for Reopening Communities

Personal Hygiene

  • 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

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Note: The use of N95 and surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare providers and other sectors when appropriate.  

Social Distancing

  • 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).

Contact Tracing

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.

Planning Ahead

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

Additional Resources

Updated: June 11, 2020