Retail & Malls Reopening Guidelines

Retail and Malls Image

Reopening ProcessesPhysical Space Set UpPersonal Protection For EmployeesCleaning and DisinfectingHealth Guidance for Employees

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont extended a mandatory shutdown in the state, until May 20, 2020, this included Retail Stores and Malls.

On April 30, 2020, Governor Lamont outlined a list of industries that officials in the state re-opening on May 20, 2020. The list includes the opening of Retail Stores and Malls.

Retail and Malls State guidelines imageCity of Stamford Guidelines
State Retail & Malls Guidelines City of Stamford Retail and Malls Reopening Guidelines

All businesses subject to these guidelines are required to self-certify prior to opening May 20th. The certification system can be accessed here.

If you are a business, organization, or individual with a question, concern, or comment about reopening, please fill out this form.

Reopening Processes

 

Businesses must exercise caution throughout the reopening, ensuring strict adherence to the rules listed here. Those businesses that are not able to meet the rules listed here by May 20, shall delay opening until they are able.

While these rules provide a way for retail stores to reopen as safely as possible, risks to customers and employees cannot be fully mitigated. Customers who choose to visit stores during this time should be aware of potential risks. Individuals over the age of [65] or with other health conditions should not go shopping, but instead continue to stay home and stay safe.

State Sector Rules for May 20th Reopening:

 
  • Share these rules with your employees and inform them of any additional specific measures being taken in response to COVID-19.
  • Appoint a program administrator who is accountable for implementing these rules.
  • Maintain a log of employees on premise over time, to support contact tracing.
  • Stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize contact across employees.
  • Institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program prior to reopen. Training shall include:
    • State rules on reopening offices
    • Protocols on how to clean and use cleaning products (including disinfectants) safely.
    • Property train your staff on how to property wash their hands, wear face coverings, and how to remain socially distant while in the office
    • Go over pertinent COVID-19 considerations from CDC with employees
    • If any on-site duties are subcontracted, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure subcontractors are also appropriately trained.
    • The training shall be provided at no cost to the employee and during working hours.
    • The training materials shall be presented in the language and at the literacy level of the employees. There shall also be weekly refreshers on policies.
  • Complete a thorough cleaning of facility prior to reopening, including, but not limited to:
    • Entrances/lobbies, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, elevators, door handles/door knobs and other commonly touched areas.
  • Stores shall consider having designated hours for vulnerable populations (e.g., the elderly or those with underlying health conditions)
  • Post clear signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of these rules.
  • Complete the self-certification on the DECD website to receive a Reopen CT badge.

City of Stamford Guidelines

 
  • Communication Plan
    • Update you website
    • Inform customers of the steps you are taking to sterilize and clean your store
    • Update social media
    • Ask for a review on Google or Facebook
    • Ask customers to share a happy memory or a past look you gave them
    • Like and comment on your posts, as well as tag you in theirs
  • Employee Preparation
    • Keep your staff informed as soon as appropriate.
    • Have a meeting with your employees to go over new sanitation procedures for your Store.
    • Go over pertinent COVID-19 considerations from CDC with Employees.
    • Stock appropriate PPE and disinfectant for employees.
    • Place communications with rules and guidelines related to COVID-19 within the store.
  • Development of special considerations for employees and/or their family members that fall into at-risk groups (comorbidities) including:  Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, COPD, asthma, renal disease, cancer, dementia, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.
  • Exceptions and processes for parents/caregivers when schools are closed, or other caregivers are unavailable
  • Employee work safety policy and guidelines for the prevention of virus transfer. Employee screening policies could include:
    • Health screening to clear employees before returning to work.
    • Employee must immediately report symptoms associated with COVID-19 exposure.
    • Employee must report contact with any person who tests positive for COVID-19 (via household contact or proximity within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case).
    • Employee testing positive for COVID-19 quarantined for 14 days prior to the health screen and return to work.

 

Physical Space Setup

 

  • Post clear signage that reinforces new policies, including:
    • Social distancing protocols
    • Cleaning and disinfection protocols
    • Personal protection protocols (face masks, gloves) for customers and employees
    • Employees shall stay home if sick/experiencing symptoms
    • Customers shall not enter if they are experiencing symptoms
  • Increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system where possible.
  • Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6ft apart (e.g., lines outside of the stores if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom).
  • Use partitions between employees where a 6+ feet distance cannot be maintained, where possible.
  • Close or remove amenities non-essential to businesses' main function (e.g., self-serve samples, circulars).
  • Ensure employees do not share equipment to the extent possible; if shared, clean after each use.
  • Rearrange space to maintain 6+ feet of distance between customers and limit movement of employees within facility.
  • Install physical barriers for checkout stations where possible. 
  • Assign employees to workstations where they remain through workday. 
  • Where possible, segment the workspace into discrete zones, prevent movement between zones, and close spaces where employees congregate.
  • Install touchless appliances wherever possible, including:
    • Paper towel dispensers
    • Soap dispensers 
    • Trash cans
  • Post clear signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of these rules.
  • Any clothes tried on by a customer must either be quarantined for 48 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor.

For Malls

 
  • CLOSE ALL DINING AREAS
    • Food and drinks places inside malls can only serve take-outs.
    • Food and drinks places (but not bars) with outdoor seating can serve dine-in guests in accordance with restaurant sector rules.
    • Close off any seating areas (e.g., food hall).
  • Enhance security guard patrols to break up or eject congregations of people larger than allowed under the rules.
  • Enhance security guard patrols to enforce the rules on no consumption of take-out foods inside malls.
  • Discontinue valet services.
  • Make doorways single-direction flow.
  • Close satellite restrooms where necessary; implement frequent cleanings of main restrooms with cleaning logs.

 

Personal Protection For Employees

State Sector Rules for May 20th Reopening 

 

EMPLOYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING PERSONAL PROTECTION TO THEIR EMPLOYEES

  • Estimate required personal protection for employees and begin procuring.
  • All employees are required to wear a face mask or other cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth, unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to medical conditions.
  • Employees may utilize their own cloth face covering over that provided by their employer if they choose.
  • Gloves and eye protection are required when using cleaning chemicals.
  • In workplace settings where employees are working alone in segregated spaces (e.g., cubicles with walls, private offices, etc.), employees may remove their masks.
  • Workers shall wear a mask or face covering from the time they enter the building until the time they arrive at their cubicle/workstation, and at any time they are leaving their work station and moving around common areas (e.g., in hallways and stairwells, going to the restroom or break room, etc.).
  • For employees working in congregate settings (e.g., areas open to the public, shared offices, or similar settings), those workers shall wear a face covering as above, as well as when they are at their work station.
  • Customers and visitors are required to bring and wear masks or cloth face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth unless doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety due to a medical condition.
  • If the customer or visitor does not have a mask or face covering, then they either must be provided one by the site employer or not allowed to enter the facility.
  • If businesses do not have adequate personal protection, they cannot open.

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

 

  • Hand sanitizer shall be made available at entrance points and common areas, where possible.
  • Ensure employees wash their hands routinely using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Make available near commonly used surfaces, where possible (e.g., cash registers, credit card machines, light switches, and door handles)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently, implement use of cleaning log for tracking. Clean multiple times a day and hourly during busy times.
  • Businesses shall follow federal guidelines (CDC, EPA) on what specific products should be used and how:
    • Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
    • Disinfectants are irritants and sensitizers, and should be used cautiously. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects after each use.
    • Clean and disinfect common areas, high transit areas, and frequently touched surfaces on an ongoing basis (at least daily) and more frequently if used more often. Clean and disinfect shared objects after each use.
    • Examples include: desks, chairs, bathrooms, elevators, coffee machines, entrances/lobbies, kitchens, hallways, elevators, including panels and buttons, door handles/ door knobs, shared equipment (e.g., printers, scanners, phones, vending machines) computer and monitors.

City of Stamford Guidance

 
  • Work with your building management, property manager or maintenance company to determine a comprehensive cleaning routine that will help protect all employees.
  • Be sure to inform all staff of the cleaning plan ahead of time, so they are aware of the steps your building or company is taking to keep them safe.
  • Stock up on essential supplies including disinfectant sprays, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, soap, face masks, hand sanitizer.
  • Reduce common touch points by opening internal doors where possible. Secure all secondary doors and access points to minimize incidental contact.
  • Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Each business or facility will have different surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by multiple people. Appropriately disinfect these surfaces and objects.3
  • Employees should clean their personal workspace at the beginning and the end of every shift.
  • Encourage employees to be proactive in disinfecting shared spaces when they are finished using them. You can disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects using a product from EPA’s list of approved products that are effective against COVID-19.
  • Common shared spaces and of frequently touched surfaces including:
    • Telephone
    • Tables
    • Doorknobs
    • Light switches
    • Countertop
  • If a sick employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

 

Health Guidance For Employees

State Sector Rules for May 20th Reopening:

 
  • Ask employees resuming on-premise work to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms and to monitor their own symptoms; including cough, shortness of breath, or any two of the following symptoms:
    • Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, New loss of taste or smell
  • Employees should stay home if sick.
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 case employees shall inform their employers and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols
  • Employers shall adhere to federal guidance pertaining to paid leave for employees and provide this guidance to employees.
  • Employers shall post the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Department of Labor poster. 
  • Employers may not retaliate against workers for raising concerns about COVID related safety and health conditions.
  • Additional information can be accessed at www.OSHA.gov.
  • Additional information for the public sector can be accessed at www.connosha.com

Additional Resources:

 

For testing locations in Stamford, call:  833-508-8378

How to request PPE via CBIA-CONNSTEP:  https://www.ctcovidresponse.org/ppe-needs-form

For a PPE supplier list, go to:  https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Suppliers-List

To self-certify, go to: https://business.ct.gov/Recovery

See https://business.ct.gov/recovery for resources to assist your business in reopening.

See https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DECD/Covid_Business_Recovery/CTReopensRetail-C4V1.pdf?la=en for complete reopen plan.

Thermometers: Just announced - Any small business in the state that has between 2 and 100 employees are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. Eligible businesses seeking to request thermometers should click here.